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Sick areas: stay out of Devon this half-term

Monday, October 26th, 2020 9:00am

By Daniel Clark, local democracy service

Devon County Council leader John Hart (courtesy: Daniel Clark, LDRS)

Council leaders appeal to high-risk visitors

Devon’s council leaders have issued a joint message calling on anyone currently in a high-risk area to follow national guidance, and to stay away from the county this half-term.

Those living under the highest level of restrictions are advised by the government not to travel out of their areas except under exceptional circumstances.

Cllr John Hart, leader of Devon County Council, said: “That is why we are calling on anyone currently in a high-risk area to follow national guidance, and to stay away for now.”

He said that for anyone thinking of coming to or travelling in and around the south west this half-term that coronavirus won’t be taking a holiday, and a new social media campaign specifically targeting anyone coming into the region has been launched with the message that if you’re visiting Devon this half term, the rules still apply while you’re on holiday.

While coronavirus rates in Devon are below the national average, Cllr Hart said that now is the time to be extra careful. He wants people coming  to Devon to consider the potential impact of their visit and to respect and help protect local communities.

He said: “People may well be considering taking a break this half term but unfortunately coronavirus won’t be taking a holiday. Clearly, our top priority is to keep our residents safe. I urge everyone who is thinking of going away or even travelling within the area to think carefully about where they might be going and to continue to follow the rules.

“Equally, we are asking anyone thinking of coming into the region to consider the potential impact of their visit and to respect and help protect our local communities.

“The number of coronavirus cases here is rising but still much lower than most of the rest of the country and we want to keep it that way, so now is the time to be extra careful and extra vigilant. That is why we are calling on anyone currently in a high-risk area to follow national guidance, and to stay away for now.

“And if people do travel here from other areas then we urge them to be extra careful and follow all the extra rules that may relate to their own local area.”

The message comes as all authorities across the region come together to launch a joint social media campaign via the South West Local Resilience Forum to target visitors,  reminding them to keep following the basic rules – space, face and hands – and not to think they can relax just because they are away.

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