Please keep away from our seafront to save lives

We’ll be following developments closely this week on the steps laid out by the government around easing some of the Covid-19 restrictions. 

There are ambiguities in the messages so far and we’re urgently reviewing the government’s recovery strategy document to work out how best to manage the new guidance.

Our priority, as always, is to keep people who live in the city safe.

We do have concerns around the impact on residents being able to maintain physical distancing if we have an influx of visitors. 

Many people living in Brighton & Hove don’t have regular access to open spaces. Most of the shops and attractions remain closed.

As we’re able to go out more in household groups to play sport or visit a park together, it is vital to keep following the physical distancing guidance.

We need to make sure residents can continue to use all the city’s open spaces safely, and we are still asking people who don’t live here not to travel to Brighton & Hove.

We know our seafront is appealing but it is not big enough to provide space for an influx of visitors.

To avoid the dangers of overcrowding, we are also continuing to ask residents to stay away from the seafront unless it is their nearest outdoor space.

We will be asking for the government’s support in this. 

While the restrictions are easing, the starting point for fines for lockdown offences in England is rising to £100 from Wednesday. There have more than 9,000 of these fines issued across the country so far.

We have re-opened a number of public toilets in the city today ready for residents who will be likely to venture out more often.

We will be looking at whether we can open some more facilities in our parks. We will only do this where we can be sure of maintaining physical distancing to keep residents and our staff safe.

We are also looking into what sports facilities we can re-open in line with the new guidelines while meeting physical distancing requirements.

We will also be working closely with families, education leaders and unions to look at plans for reopening schools and do what’s right for our city.

In the short-term, schools, early years, sixth form, special schools and further education providers are still only open for the children of critical key workers and vulnerable children 

Children should continue to stay home from school where possible.

We are not out of the woods yet and continue to support all efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

We know restrictions will need to stay in place for a long time to come. 

We need a steady and safe progression towards lifting the restrictions. 

The best way to ensure that can happen and protect lives is to maintain physical distancing.

Councillor Nancy Platts

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