Please stay home and save lives 

Thank you to everyone who has been staying at home and playing their part to protect the NHS and save lives. 

We have been social distancing now for over a month, it’s tough for all of us, but it’s vital we don’t let our guard down now - the plan is working and let’s not undo the good work we have all done so far. 

Government guidelines have not been relaxed, and it is as important as ever to stay home and only go out when absolutely necessary. 

That’s why, with another sunny weekend forecast, we are saying: 

  •  Please don’t travel to the beach and seafront 
  •  Please only take exercise close to home, either on your own or with people from your household – it should not involve socialising with others. 
  •  And we are reminding shops open for essential supplies to ensure they maintain social distancing of two metres (six feet) to protect staff and customers  

Stay away from the seafront 

Last weekend, at times, felt like a holiday feeling was creeping in, as some people gathered in groups on the beach for barbecues and picnics. 

The seafront should just be used for essential exercise by people living nearby, not for meeting friends or sunbathing, and not for swimming in the sea - our emergency services are already strained and if people get in trouble while swimming it doesn’t protect our NHS. 

If cycling, please stick to the cycle path and if it’s busy consider walking instead, to leave the path clear for key workers cycling to and from work.  

Our seafront team and police will continue to be out and about, reminding people of the need to keep their distance.   

In the first month of lockdown the team gave out advice on the COVID-19 restrictions more than 1,600 times, for example, moving on large groups and asking people not to sit on the beach. They appreciate the many words of thanks and encouragement they have received from other members of the public when doing so.

Parks and open spaces  

It is equally important that people don’t gather in parks and open spaces around the city to socialise. 

Our parks remain open for exercise, but not for sunbathing, yoga, picnics, or games of football or cricket, for example. It is essential to keep a distance from others in the park and please find an alternative location to exercise nearby if it is busy. 

We are putting two metre stencil markings in parks to highlight the need for social distancing, the same as those already used on the seafront. 

Playgrounds, outdoor gym equipment, and skate parks remain closed to protect everyone’s health, as play and sports equipment can be a breeding ground for germs. 

Social distancing in shops 

We would like to thank those businesses permitted to remain open, and trading under the current restrictions, who have put in place measures to keep their customers and staff safe. 

It is important that all shops ensure staff and customers maintain social distancing, for everyone’s safety, to reduce the risk of infection 

We’ve put together guidance for businesses which we hope will help at this difficult time. This includes government information on social distancing in the workplace  and advice for food businesses, as well as the latest guidance on premises that need to close. 

I know everyone longs to get back to normal life, seeing friends and family and getting out and about enjoying the city, but we’ve come this far, we’ve made huge changes in our everyday lives, and it is important that we continue with them. The beaches and parks we love will all be there for us to enjoy later in the year, when the time is right. 

Stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives 

Councillor Nancy Platts  
Leader of the Council  

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