This decision protects both council enforcement officers, who may otherwise be at risk of contracting the virus, and key workers, as now they do not need to use the pay and display machines. South Hams District Council has also closed North Sands, Bigbury and Slapton car parks to discourage people from making unnecessary journeys.
As parking charges have been suspended, there is currently no requirement for people to renew their parking permit. Therefore, the councils have temporarily suspended the sale of parking permits. These will go back on sale when parking charges return.
Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council said: "Everyone has been told that they should be staying at home unless their journey is essential for work, food or medical reasons. Therefore we should not be seeing people using our car parks for pleasure and social activities. Relaxing enforcement will make it easier for those essential workers who need to use our car parks.
Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council added: "If you do have to go out for essential supplies and medicines, can we ask you to please park sensibly in our Town Centres. Please also bear in mind that leaving your car unattended in a carpark for a long period may mean that there are no spaces for key workers."
Both Leaders said: "Please listen to the advice, stay at home and don't put yourself and others at risk."