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We are CLOSED until 12 April - says Council in Devon

A District Council in Devon is pleading with would-be visitors to the rules and not visit their tourist hotspots for an overnight stay until after 12 April.

Image of Bigbury Beach

South Hams, home to many beautiful and popular holiday destinations, such as Salcombe, Thurlestone, Bigbury, Dartmouth and Slapton, is appealing to peoples' sensible nature. The Council is asking people to abide by the COVID-19 rules.  The rules state that no one should be staying away from their homes overnight, or on holiday before Monday 12 April.

This means not staying in tents, caravans, motorhomes or holiday homes until after 12 April.  Even after that, only self-catering accommodation and outside hospitality will be available.

This plea comes, as many tourist destinations in South Hams fear an influx of visitors at the start of the Easter holiday.  The Council is concerned that travel restrictions are being lifted on 29 March before holiday accommodation and hospitality is allowed to open, and this might tempt people to break the rules and come to Devon too early.

Cllr Judy Pearce Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "Under normal circumstances we would give visitors a very generous welcome. We are expecting this year to be a bumper year for tourism as many people will choose a staycation and holiday in the UK. 

"We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back. However we cannot stress strongly enough that until 12 April, the vast majority of the shops, business, pubs and restaurants that you would normally use are also closed. They are only providing a limited takeaway service for local residents.

"We can see the temptation at the start of the Easter Holiday, travel restrictions will be relaxed, children will have broken up from school and people may be tempted to throw a tent in the car, or pack up and come to their second home.

"My message to you is - until the 12 of April businesses in the South Hams are following the COVID-19 rules and they will simply not be open and will not be ready for you."

Holiday destinations in the South Hams, which are calling for people to be sensible and follow the rules, include Salcombe, Totnes, Ivybridge, Kingsbridge,

Dartmouth, Slapton, Torcross, Bigbury, Newton Ferrers Hope Cove, Wembury, Brixton,  Thurlestone, Modbury, Totnes - and many small villages and town in between.

The final comment from Cllr Pearce is a massive: "Thank you for following the rules and we will see you again soon."


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