Devon Councillors renew ‘stay away’ message

“Cllr John Hart, leader of the Devon County Council, said that while the region would be delighted to see visitors when it is safe for them to arrive, it is vital that any restarting of the economy avoids a second spike and that danger has led him to renew the appeal for visitors to stay away and come back later.”

Devon Councillors renew ‘stay away’ message www.southwestfarmer.co.uk

Senior politicians have renewed their appeal to holidaymakers and second homeowners to stay away from Devon despite the easing of lockdown restrictions.

From Wednesday, coronavirus lockdown rules have been adjusted so that people are able to travel for exercise and that those who cannot work from home in an industry that is still open should return to work.

But Cllr John Hart, leader of the Devon County Council, said that while the region would be delighted to see visitors when it is safe for them to arrive, it is vital that any restarting of the economy avoids a second spike and that danger has led him to renew the appeal for visitors to stay away and come back later.

While the latest coronavirus guidance from the Government says that day trips to outdoor open space, in a private vehicle, are permitted, and people can travel as far as they wish, leaving your home – the place you live – to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed, and this includes visiting second homes.

East Devon MP Simon Jupp said: “I’ve received many emails with questions about lockdown changes. I want to be exceptionally clear, second homeowners are still not allowed to come to East Devon,” while North Devon MP Selaine Saxby added: “Travel to second homes or for a mini break remains unacceptable.”

Cllr Hart said that he welcomed the Prime Minister’s statement as providing some hope but said he wanted to see the details of how re-starting the economy could be achieved safely.

The south west has been the region least hit by COVID-19 and yesterday saw just two new positive cases recorded in Devon, and Cllr Hart said: “We will have to be particularly careful in the south west that we don’t see a spike in infections.

“Thanks to the common sense and cooperation of the vast majority of our citizens, we have remained the lowest region in the country for infections throughout this pandemic.

“That must continue as we begin to see the economy start to rev up again – safely – whilst our residents can have some idea of how we can begin to move slowly out of lockdown.

“It is vital to get our economy going again but we must do this slowly and surely to avoid any second or subsequent spikes which would see us plunged back into an even more severe lockdown.

“Because of that danger, I would renew my appeal to holidaymakers and second homeowners to stay away from Devon especially as they are still forbidden from staying overnight. But we will be delighted to see you as soon as it is safe for you to visit.”

The Prime Minister said that “absolutely” it was the case that people should not travel to second homes for a holiday. Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Boris Johnson said:  “We don’t want to see people – let me repeat – we don’t want to see people travelling to another home for a holiday or a second home.

“That is not what this is about. This is about allowing people the pleasure and exercise of going to national parks and places of outstanding natural beauty and taking advantage of the open air.”

 

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