East Devon is closed – stark warning to tourists ahead of Easter bank holiday

PUBLISHED: 13:00 07 April 2020

East Devon District Council has warned tourists not to travel to East Devon this Easter Picture: Getty Images/Terry Ife

East Devon District Council has warned tourists not to travel to East Devon this Easter Picture: Getty Images/Terry Ife

Picture: Getty Images/Terry Ife

East Devon is closed to tourists this Easter – that’s the message from the district council ahead of a bank holiday weekend.

Residents, tourists and businesses are being reminded by East Devon District Council (EDDC) of the Government’s advice against non-essential travel.

Holiday accommodation providers - such as self-catering businesses, bed and breakfasts, caravan parks, hotels, campsites and holiday homes - have shut their doors in the district as a result of the Government ordering all non-essential businesses to stop operating and for everyone to stay at home and avoid non-essential travel.

These businesses have told the district council they are abiding by the order and they risk prosecution if they encourage visitors.

EDDC leader Ben Ingham said: “We know that East Devon is a great place to visit and if we were in normal times, we would welcome you with open arms.

“However, we are not in normal times and the message is clear - ‘Stay at home and save lives’.

“We won’t be thanking you if action on your part results in our residents becoming infected which could lead to deaths.

“Please come back when this is all over.”

There are several exemptions which allow some holiday businesses to remain open, for example to provide accommodation for key workers, NHS staff and for the homeless to use.

Three East Devon car parks have also been closed in a bid to discourage people from driving to the region’s beaches.

Maer Road and Foxholes car parks in Exmouth and the long stay car park at Seaton Jurassic have been closed. All other car parks remain open but are under review.

This comes after district council-managed public toilets, parks, gardens and play areas, beach huts and beach hut sites closed last month in response to the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesman for EDDC said: “All authorities in Devon recognise the importance of the tourism sector for Devon but they are urging people to stay at home, stay safe and wait until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted before paying a visit to the county.”

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