Would-be Easter visitors have been told to stay away from East Devon and to come back when the coronavirus crisis is over.
District council leader Ben Ingham issued the message today (Monday) and warned ‘non-essential’ trips to the area could spread the virus and cost residents their lives.
Cllr Ingham has urged people to heed advice from the Government – especially over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend.
We won’t be thanking you if action on your part results in our residents becoming infected which could lead to deaths. Please come back when this is all over – Cllr Ben Ingham
He said: “We know that East Devon is a great place to visit and if we were in normal times we would welcome you with open arms.
“However, we are not in normal times and the message is very clear – ‘stay at home and save lives’.
“We won’t be thanking you if action on your part results in our residents becoming infected which could lead to deaths. Please come back when this is all over.”
Holiday accommodation providers such as self-catering businesses, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes have shut their doors in the district.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) says the businesses have confirmed they are abiding by the Government’s legislation – and anyone encouraging visitors faces prosecution.
Some exemptions do allow certain holiday accommodation to remain open – such as those providing a place to stay for key workers and NHS staff, and for health and care and homelessness use.
An EDDC spokesperson added: “All authorities in Devon recognise the importance of the tourism sector for Devon, but they are urging people to stay at home, stay safe and wait until Covid-19 restrictions are lifted before paying a visit to the county.”