Water quality testing along Yorkshire Coast halted due to coronavirus restrictions

Water quality testing across Scarborough, Whitby and Filey has been halted because of coronavirus restrictions.

Tuesday, 26th May 2020, 11:40 am

The Environment Agency says it has temporarily stopped work deemed non-essential, including bathing water sampling, because of the pandemic.

The move means that areas like Scarborough South Bay - where the water quality is classed as “poor” - are not being checked.

However, the advice remains in place not to bathe there.

Scarborough's South Bay where water quality is currently rated as 'poor'. Picture: JPI Media/ Tony Johnson

The Government’s recently revised guidance means people can now go swimming in either lakes or the sea, provided they observe social distancing guidelines.

In an advisory notice, the Environment Agency said: “This year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Environment Agency has temporarily paused non-essential work, including sampling to help slow the spread of coronavirus and maintain the ability to provide essential services.

“This temporary suspension of bathing water sampling will not affect bathing water quality.”

It also said people can find the latest classifications for designated bathing waters around the country on its website.

Claire Hughes, Director of Her Majesty’s Coastguard, warned: “In England, now more than ever, people need to respect the sea and the coast.

“Whether you’re local or not, whatever your ability or experience in your chosen sport or leisure activity, the sea can still catch you out and be unmerciful when it does.

“The majority of beaches will not be lifeguarded. If you get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we will come to your aid.

“But coronavirus hasn’t gone away and we all need to follow the rules. Remember your choices might put people, including yourself and frontline responders, at risk. Take extra care in these extraordinary times.”

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