As lockdown measures are eased around the country, West Devon Borough Council is urging both residents and visitors to be careful and considerate.

Shop worker at a deli counter arranging stock while wearing a face mask

As more facilities begin to reopen from Saturday July 4, it is understandable that some residents will feel anxious or concerned. The Council is working with Devon County Council and Public Health England on a Local Outbreak Management Plan in the event that cases do increase.

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, said: "I'm pleased that the more hopeful news about lower levels of infection, especially in this area, have allowed the Government to ease some lockdown restrictions.  I hope that this means that we are finally getting the upper hand in the fight against this virus, although everyone should still take note of the current guidance.

"Many people will naturally be worried about an increase in visitors causing a spike in cases, but other areas of the country have reported no jump in infections following the two bank holidays in May. If we continue to maintain good hand hygiene and social distancing, we can keep our cases low as we move forward.

"If you're concerned about your health, or if you're at higher risk from the virus, please look after yourself, and follow the advice from the nhs.uk/coronavirus website."

"Please continue to be responsible in order to continue to protect those most at risk.  For our part, we're working to reopen our facilities for residents and visitors as soon as possible."

The Council is working to reopen its facilities, including playgrounds, from Saturday 4 July in line with Government guidelines. As play equipment is naturally handled by many children every day, the Council recommends that parents and guardians clean children's hands before and after using the equipment.

Public toilets in West Devon have all reopened. If you are using the public toilets, you can help to keep them safe for all by cleaning your hands before and after use.

The Government announcement did not allow for leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools to reopen, but Fusion Leisure are working to reopen when Government guidance allows them to do so. Fusion will provide an update about this in due course.

The offices at Kilworthy Park will remain closed for the time being, as staff are working effectively and efficiently from home. The Government guidance is still that people who can work from home should do so and the Council will continue to follow this guidance.

The Council has also made a number of public open spaces available for cafes and pubs to use for outside seating. These outside seating areas will be carefully monitored to ensure that they are kept clean and tidy, and that no anti-social behaviour results.

For more information, please see www.westdevon.gov.uk/useourland

Cllr Jory continued: "As always, the situation is constantly changing and evolving, so do please follow our social media channels and keep an eye on local media for information and updates. Devon County Council will be releasing more information about the Local Outbreak Management Plan shortly, and we will share this with residents.

"I look forward to welcoming people back to West Devon, and seeing people out and about enjoying our beautiful Borough safely again. Remember that everyone can play their part in keeping our infection rate low by  washing your hand regularly, covering your nose and mouth in shops and other indoor public areas and keeping two metres away from others wherever possible. If you are visiting the area, please remember to respect the environment and take your litter home with you.

"Thank you to all our residents for your good sense, your responsibility and your kindness during this difficult time."

26 June 2020

ENDS