People told to stay away from coast this Easter bank holiday as fight again coronavirus hits critical point

Stay away – that is the warning to anyone thinking of heading to the coast or countryside this Easter bank holiday.

Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 11:18 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th April 2020, 11:20 am
A deserted Scarborough sea front

Police recorded quiet South and North Bay beaches and an empty Scarborough town centre at the weekend – but have repeated orders to keep away as attempts to battle coronavirus reaches a critical point.

A joint statement from Richard Flinton, chairman of the multi-agency North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable and Gold commander leading the response to Covid-19 could not have been clearer.

It said: “At this critical time in our effort to control the spread of Covid-19 and with warm spring weather continuing intothe bank holiday we are urging people to resist travelling to North Yorkshire’s national parks and coast and to stay at home to save lives.

“The next few weeks could not be more decisive in the nation’s fight to slow the rate of infection of this very dangerous virus that we must make every effort to battle together.

“What we do now will have a bearing on whether more people die or whether lives are spared. If we act irresponsibly more people will die. The choice could not be starker.

“North Yorkshire Police has patrols in place and will be out and about in numbers over the coming days encouraging people to follow the lockdown restrictions, explaining why they are so important and enforcing the regulations where necessary.

“We will be turning people away who do not live here permanently, or have travelled too far to take exercise.

“Although we know that infection rates and the number of deaths are set to rise significantly in North Yorkshire as elsewhere in the country, the way we act now will have a major impact on how we slow or speed up the infection rate in the coming weeks.

“Every single one of us has a crucial part to play and right now, despite the improving weather, the most important thing we can do is stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

“Do not be tempted to jump in the car and head out to beauty spots in North Yorkshire’s countryside or on the coast. This is not essential travel. The instruction is to exercise from your doorstep once a day and not to travel to other places for this.”

Inspector Steve Paxton captured deserted locations as the sun shone last weekend.

“I’m pleased to say that it appears people are generally abiding by the important safety message to stay at home and not visit the coast from outside the area,” he said.

“Seamer Road and Filey Road would usually be like car parks at this time of year with visitors.

“I thank local residents and people from neighbouring counties for their continued support to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.”