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8 April, 2020

Stay away from the Yorkshire Coast this Easter weekend to save lives

The Yorkshire Coast is closed this Easter weekend with people from across North Yorkshire and around the country being urged to stay away despite the warm weather.

The message comes from Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Joe Plant, North Yorkshire County Councillor, who are joining forces to encourage individuals and families to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives.

Government advice is for those who leave their house to exercise to stay local, use open spaces near to their home and not to travel unnecessarily.

Despite that, the three leaders are worried that the Bank Holiday will see residents from across North Yorkshire, and tourists from further afield, make the journey to the Coast. There have already been worrying reports of people arriving on the Coast ahead of Easter to visit their second homes or to holiday.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, said: 

“I have been appalled to see so many tourists visiting the Yorkshire Coast, with particularly worrying scenes in places like Whitby where the narrow streets make it impossible to stay apart from other people.

“I continue to receive really alarming emails and letters from residents and workers who are seeing visitors coming to the area to stay in their second homes or, amazingly, come on holiday. These selfish individuals seem to believe there is nothing wrong with making a trip from elsewhere in North Yorkshire or beyond.

“My message to those people is – there is, and you must stay away. Unless you permanently live here, unless your journey is essential, you must stay at home. The next few days are crucial in our fight against coronavirus. Anyone can catch it, anyone can spread it and you are putting lives at risk.”

Julia Mulligan, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said: 

“This weekend, the sun may be out – but you shouldn’t be. This isn’t the time for day trips or picnics or parties so if you’re thinking of making a trip in or to the Yorkshire Coast, our message is simple – don’t. ‪

“I know North Yorkshire is beautiful in the sunshine – but it’ll still be beautiful when all this is over and, when that time comes, we’ll welcome you with open arms. But, for now, please – stay away, stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Joe Plant, North Yorkshire County Councillor, said: 

“This may be a Bank Holiday weekend but it is definitely not business as usual.

“I know the Coast is tempting, and we want you to come and see us when all this is over, but we don’t want you to come now. Please stay at home, please stay away, please don’t be selfish enough to threaten the lives of those who live here by spreading this horrific virus.”

North Yorkshire Police has patrols in place and will be out and about in numbers over the coming days encouraging people to follow the restrictions, explaining why they are so important and enforcing the regulations where necessary.

They will be turning people away who do not live on the Yorkshire Coast permanently or have travelled too far to take exercise.

Read more about North Yorkshire Police’s response to the crisis at www.northyorkshire.police.uk/coronavirus