Swanage opens for visitors as tourism restarts

In an attempt to balance the needs of the tourism business in Swanage and the desire of local residents to keep safe from coronavirus, the town is cautiously starting to reopen its attractions, hotels, B and Bs and campsites, alongside pubs, cafes and restaurants.

From today, Saturday 4th July 2020 government lockdown restrictions have eased, allowing people to go on holiday in England and it’s clear that beach breaks in locations like Swanage are top of many people’s wish list following months of being cooped up indoors.

Encouraging al fresco eating and drinking

In response, local accommodation is taking bookings, restaurants and cafes are socially distancing their tables and tourist attractions are installing one way systems to keep people safe. With the risk of transmitting coronavirus much reduced outdoors, many establishments are making the most of their outside areas and encouraging al fresco eating and drinking.

After months of no income it’s hoped that the town will start to recoup their financial losses from today, which has been dubbed as ‘Super Saturday’.

Swanage Pier with a one way system
Swanage Pier

A one way system has been devised for strolling along Swanage Pier

Gradual restarting of tourism

The gradual restarting of tourism will see Swanage Pier reopen with a one-way system and a limited food service at the cafe. The shop and museum will remain closed for now.

Swanage Information Centre will reopen with a gazebo outside to allow staff to work outdoors, with only small numbers of visitors allowed to go inside the building.

The council-owned beach huts along Shore Road will be available for use for people who had previously pre-booked the huts before the pandemic. People will be able to make new bookings from Saturday 11th July. Generally, every other hut will be available to rent to comply with social distancing. Each beach hut will be disinfected before any new booking.

Thoroughly cleaned the play areas

The children’s playgrounds at the Recreation Ground, Days Park and King George’s Field in Swanage will reopen from today. The council has thoroughly cleaned these play areas prior to opening, but they will not be cleansed once open. Families are being asked to consider wiping or cleaning the equipment themselves before use.

Beach Gardens tennis courts are already open to members and guests but will be available to paying customers from Saturday 11th July 2020, along with the food and drink kiosk facility.

Signs at Durlston

The cafe at Durlston Country Park, Seventh Wave is operating a one way system

“Pleased with the way things are progressing”

Swanage Town Mayor, Councillor Mike Bonfield, said:

“The new Government guidelines which come into effect on Saturday 4th July, will see a number of local hospitality businesses open. The effect of this terrible pandemic on these businesses so far has, you will know, been devastating.

“On the bright side those shops which have now been open for a couple of weeks, have told me they have been pleased with the way things are progressing. Most people are being co-operative and keeping to the safety guidelines. They are keeping a social distance and, when entering premises using the available hand sanitisers, if requested to do so.

“The openings that are being allowed from this Saturday are going to be considerably harder for those who manage local pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and places of accommodation. They have been working tirelessly to get ready for this moment. I wish them all well as they start to provide the great service that Swanage has become used to.”

Not everything is starting up again

However not everything is starting up again in Swanage from this month. All the events on land operated by Swanage Town Council have been cancelled or postponed up to mid-September. This includes the Bandstand, the hard standing outside the Information Centre and Prince Albert Gardens.

There have been requests for small events, like busking that would not aim to attract large crowds, but it has been decided not to allow these for July or August 2020 because there is no guarantee that larger crowds wouldn’t gather.

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