Seaside towns like Swanage still waiting for new lockdown guidance

A Dorset Council councillor has expressed her concern for seaside areas following the Prime Minister’s speech about the easing of lockdown restrictions.

Dorset Council councillor for West Purbeck, Laura Miller has expressed her concern for seaside areas following the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson’s speech that set out a conditional plan for the easing of lockdown restrictions.

The Prime Minister’s address this evening, mentioned work, exercise and schools but there was no mention of tourism. It did touch on the hospitality sector saying that parts of the hospitality business, presumably including cafes and restaurants, may be able to re-open in July.

Boris Johnson also explained that a new Covid Alert System with five levels would govern how quickly restrictions could be eased.

Drive to the beach

The rules for England are different from the measures in Wales and Scotland, so people may drive to enjoy the outdoors in England, but not in Scotland or Wales. This means that people will be able to drive to the beach in England but not Scotland or Wales.

Dorset Councillor, Laura Miller, who represents West Purbeck and lives in Lulworth Tweeted:

“Caveat – I get the alert thing and it seems a good move. But from Weds you can drive to exercise which means my tiny village & beach will be packed. And we don’t have the health infrastructure here. I’d have added ‘in your local council area’ to the new eased restrictions tbh.”

More information is expected to be put to parliament tomorrow, Monday 11th May 2020.

The new government message

Stay alert – We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert.

This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

The main points from Boris Johnson’s speech

Work

“We said that you should work from home if you can, and only go to work if you must.

“We now need to stress that anyone who can’t work from home, for instance those in construction or manufacturing, should be actively encouraged to go to work.

“And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.

“So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home.”

Exercise and leisure

“And from this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

“You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.

“You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them.”

Schools

“In step two – at the earliest by June 1 – after half term – we believe we may be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages, beginning with reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

“Our ambition is that secondary pupils facing exams next year will get at least some time with their teachers before the holidays.”

Hospitality industry

“And step three – at the earliest by July – and subject to all these conditions and further scientific advice; if and only if the numbers support it, we will hope to re-open at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing.”

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