Councillors from some of Devon's local authorities have joined the call by Cornwall Council for people not to visit Devon and Cornwall this Easter. In the run up to the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, local authorities are reminding people of the Government advice against non-essential travel.

A photograph showing Blackpool Beach near Dartmouth on a cloudy day.

Leader of South Hams District Council, Cllr Judy Pearce, said: "We really value our second home owners and the many thousands of visitors who come to see us each year.  But I cannot stress strongly enough that now is not the time to visit our area. Travelling here for the Easter holiday is not  'essential travel'. If you visit you will put further unnecessary pressure on the local NHS and other community support. Please listen to the Government advice, stay at home this Easter and we will see you all again soon when this is over"

Yesterday Cornwall Council called on holiday letting providers across the county to act responsibly to enforce the new regulations preventing them from renting out holiday accommodation while the Government is urging citizens to make "only essential journeys".

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council's Portfolio Holder for Environment and Public Protection, said: "Cornwall is an open and welcoming place - but this Easter we calling on both those who provide holiday accommodation in Cornwall, and anyone thinking of travelling to Cornwall to do the right thing and ensure that they comply with the Government's rules which were introduced to protect the health of our population, NHS and other critical services at this difficult time."

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Economy and Skills, said: "Tourism is an important part of Devon's economy and tourism businesses and accommodation will be suffering, just as many sectors are during this crisis. If we all take the Government advice on board, stay at home and only making essential journeys, the sooner we will get through this crisis and get Devon open for business, so that people can pay us a visit at a later date."

Leader of Torridge District Council, Cllr Ken James, said:  "We applaud the fact that the majority of people have heeded the Government's advice to stay at home and not travel to Devon or other parts of the South West during the current COVID-19 crisis. While we hope to see many of these people return to our fantastic coastline once the current restrictions are lifted we would in the meantime ask everyone to please support the continuing restrictions on movement until the Government and health professionals say these can be lifted."

Leader of East Devon District Council, Cllr Ben Ingham, 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."

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are lifted before paying a visit to the county.

Click here to read the story of one Second Home Owner who has decided to stay away and donated her shopping delivery slots to the NHS

Supported by: 

East Devon District Council, Devon County Council, Mid Devon District Council, North Devon District Council, South Hams District Council, Torbay Council, Torridge District Council and West Devon Borough Council.