Following the easing of Covid lockdown rules on Monday, many families in Devon and Cornwall are eagerly awaiting an Easter weekend which may well include a visit to one of our many beauty spots.
Rangers, takeout staff, and other workers at national parks and other day trip locations are gearing up for a busy weekend during the holidays.
The latest government guidelines state that people can now meet outdoors in groups of six or two households.
This is the first time that many people can legally meet friends and extended family in almost four months.
People have already flocked to beauty spots around Devon after the easing of lockdowns and the four-day weekend for many will be another opportunity to explore areas they were unable to visit in due to recent restrictions.
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In anticipation of the weekend rush, authorities have issued advice for people planning to take a trip to Bodmin Moor, Dartmoor or one of the hundreds of beaches in Devon or Cornwall.
Police in Devon and Cornwall had previously said, before the restrictions were eased, that they hoped people would be responsible when things picked up.
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “The decision to reduce the restrictions on Covid-19 will be welcomed by some communities, but it may cause anxiety in others.
“While some areas of Covid-related law enforcement that the police have undertaken will cease, the message to stay local and follow government guidelines to reduce risk is not changing.
“Covid-19 was never intended to control a pandemic. As we move away from some law enforcement action, I ask the public to step in, as Covid-19 has not gone away.
“The government is advising people to stay local and avoid unnecessary travel and I echo that request, but I am also aware that many will wish to meet loved ones outside.
“Devon and Cornwall Police Maintain the 4E’s approach to new legislation by using engagement, education and encouragement to ask members of the public to comply with the regulations. I hope the public will continue to act responsibly and comply. ”
Likewise, Dartmoor advised people to plan ahead and respect the environment, with everyone’s safety a top priority.
A post on the park’s website read: “The freedom to travel now and spend time on the moor in the fresh air will be a welcome boost to mental and physical well-being – at this time of the year. year is really magical.
“We know that most people want to help us protect this special environment and it is important not to leave any traces of your visit.
“That way, when you go, nature comes back and reclaims the space you left, allowing all of us to share this special landscape.
Please continue to respect the people who live and work on Dartmoor.
“It’s a working environment where farmers need to be able to care for their animals on common open land and in their fields.
“Please do not park in walkways or walkways and avoid paths through farmyards and gardens.”
He also told people to “leave no trace, give nature space” – to help preserve the natural environment while enjoying the view.
This sentiment was also echoed by Exmoor Park Director General Sarah Bryan, saying that safety and well-being was a “top priority”.
“As the restrictions make this Easter easier and we are in a position to do more, it is essential that we stay aligned with the government’s roadmap to get out of lockdown, so as not to undermine the hard work we have all been doing. to suppress the virus this winter, ”she said.
“Your safety and well-being is our top priority and we invite anyone planning a next trip to Exmoor to read the top tips on our website Before traveling.
“Following these simple tips will help make a great day even better because together we are taking these first, prudent steps to get out of lockdown.
“Maybe not since the creation of national parks after WWII, they have been so important to our country – places where people can connect with nature and with each other, to renew and restore their own. health and well-being.
Visit Cornwall also told people, before Monday, when the rules started to loosen, to be careful – so they can visit the county’s beauty spots safely where legal and safe.
Cornwall Council went further and drove a van with the new March 29 rules written on the side.
The mobile advertising van is warning people to obey the new rules to avoid entering into a new lockdown.
Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “I urge everyone to make sure they know the new rules and not break them.
“With the vaccine rollout going well and with Covid cases declining due to the lockdown, it’s easy to see how people could let their guard down and bend the rules in order to regain that much-missed normal in their lives. But that would be a huge mistake.
“It wouldn’t take much for the virus to reenter our lives and communities and if that happens, we could end up spending a lot longer living with these restrictions.
“No one wants another lockdown. So if you want to start doing the things you love again, make sure you follow the rules, remember ‘hands, face and space’ and get your shot as soon as it gets you. is offered.”
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