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South West Leaders call on everyone planning a half-term break to be extra careful and to follow the rules

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“Coronavirus doesn’t take a break – please respect and protect local communities”

This is the joint message from Council Leaders across the region for anyone thinking of coming to or travelling in and around the south west this half-term in a new social media campaign specifically targeting anyone coming into the region.

Councillor John Hart sat at his desk
Councillor John Hart

“Now is the time to be extra careful,” says Leader of Devon County Council and Chair of the Devon Local Outbreak Engagement Board, Councillor John Hart.

“People may well be considering taking a break this half term but unfortunately coronavirus won’t be taking a holiday.

“Clearly, our top priority is to keep our residents safe.

“I urge everyone who is thinking of going away or even travelling within the area to think carefully about where they might be going and to continue to follow the rules.

“Equally, we are asking anyone thinking of coming into the region to consider the potential impact of their visit and to respect and help protect our local communities.

“The number of coronavirus cases here is rising but still much lower than most of the rest of the country and we want to keep it that way.

“So now is the time to be extra careful and extra vigilant.

“That is why we are calling on anyone currently in a high-risk area to follow national guidance, and to stay away for now.

“And if people do travel here from other areas then we urge them to be extra careful and follow all the extra rules that may relate to their own local area.”

The message comes as all authorities across the region come together to launch a joint social media campaign via the South West Local Resilience Forum to target visitors,  reminding them to keep following the basic rules – space, face and hands – and not to think they can relax just because they are away.

The campaign message is, if you’re visiting Devon this half term, please remember the rules still apply whilst you’re on holiday. Coronavirus doesn’t take a break so neither can we!

It’s vital to continue:
↔️ Making space
😷 Covering your face
👏 Washing your hands

If you have symptoms, do not ignore. Self-isolate and arrange a test using your holiday address.

A short video accompanies the campaign

The targeted campaign will be seen by people coming into the region from more than 125 miles away, plus anyone visiting any of our tourist hot spots and will run for 3 weeks.

This statement has been issued on behalf of the South West Local Resilience Forum – incorporating councils in Devon, Cornwall, Plymouth and Torbay plus Devon & Cornwall Police and other key public bodies.

The statement is also backed by South West Councils. This is a membership organisation drawing together elected representatives from all 33 councils in the South West, stretching from Gloucestershire to the Isles of Scilly and across to Dorset, Bournemouth & Poole. Membership includes police, fire & rescue services, parish and town councils and the national parks.  For more information contact 01823 270101.