If you’d told me six months ago, that we’d be telling people to stay away from our city, I probably would’ve said you were dreaming!
For a destination like Brighton & Hove that relies on tourism to support its world-famous independent shops, restaurants and attractions, it is an almost unthinkable situation, but here we are.
COVID-19 has changed all our daily lives, albeit temporarily, and what we as an organisation are prioritising at this time, is the health and safety of the residents, businesses and communities who belong to the city we serve.
We are wholeheartedly supporting government guidelines around unnecessary travel and social distancing and we shared this message on local and national news programmes this weekend.
Regrettably, our playgrounds and skateparks are now closed but our parks and beaches are open.
Once-daily exercise is important and encouraged but you must keep at least two metres distance from others so if there are already people on the beachfront, please find an alternative spot for your walking, cycling and running.
A host of sports and fitness classes have popped up online recently and we have also added a wellbeing zone to our website to help you look after your mental as well as physical health at this challenging time.
The new section also offers advice on financial wellbeing, staying active and eating well. I hope you will find it useful.
Be a virtual visitor
All visitor attractions, venues, pubs, bars restaurants and non essential shops are currently closed and public events are cancelled or postponed, including our flagship Brighton Festival and Fringe Festival events.
We are an innovative, creative city and already our businesses are adapting to the new changes.
Many independent shops and restaurants are now offering online, delivery and takeaway services (more information about participating businesses will be posted on VisitBrighton.com from next week) and our cultural venues are creating events and activities you can take part in online.
These are just some of the many things that can be enjoyed at home and free of charge:
Our staff are working at home to create online content, so more will become available over the next few weeks.
And the VisitBrighton blog has ideas and updates to keep you and your family entertained through the lockdown.
Finally, and most importantly, heeding government advice to stay inside and only go out when absolutely necessary, for food, medicine and one form of exercise a day is of paramount importance if we’re all to do our bit to help beat coronavirus, support our amazing NHS staff and all the frontline workers who are doing their best to support those who need it most.
You can still check out the changing weather and watch Brighton & Hove’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets from the comfort of your favourite chair by tuning into our seafront webcam. The webcam faces east and features several key landmarks including Brighton Palace Pier; British Airways i360; the West Pier and Brighton Bandstand.
We look forward to being the vibrant, open and welcoming city we are so well-known for, just as soon as ever we can. In the meantime, please stay safe.
Councillor Alan Robins
Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee