If you love Brighton & Hove, please stay away for the time being. Protect our city; protect the people who live here and who make it such a special place to visit.
In a typical year, we welcome up to 11 million visitors to Brighton & Hove so tourism is a big part of our local economy and visitors contribute hugely to the city’s make-up and everyday buzz.
We know that many businesses in the city are suffering due to lockdown and are keen to reopen and we will support them all the way in doing this when the time is right.
At the moment, government advice is for non-essential shops, bars, restaurants and hotels to remain closed until further notice so many of the attractions our city has to offer quite simply aren’t accessible right now.
I know it might be tempting to think of a day at the beach but there’s a bigger picture to consider so we’re asking people to please stay away for now.
We are concerned that the government has not fully thought through the impact of encouraging people to drive to beauty spots and visitor destinations like Brighton & Hove.
We still have cases of Coronavirus in the city and many vulnerable people that we need to protect – while the number of cases has gone down, we still have people in hospital including in intensive care.
If thousands of people travel to our city on a sunny day and don’t or are unable to maintain safe physical distancing because of overcrowding, this increases the risk of a Covid outbreak and puts everyone at risk.
Our residents have overwhelmingly supported the important measures set out to reduce the spread of the disease and stand behind our NHS workers and all those who have been on the frontline risking their lives for us.
We do not want to go back to square one and find ourselves having to face more stringent and longer-term lockdown measures if coronavirus cases go up.
We are discouraging people from visiting the city at this time, not because we don’t want or value our visitors but because it is in everyone’s best interest right now.
We don’t like telling people not to come to our city, it feels fundamentally at odds with everything we usually do, but we are still in a delicate phase of the recovery process.
During this quieter time we’re focusing our efforts on preparing the city for when we can safely open up and we will introduce bold measures to ensure visiting Brighton & Hove is safe for everyone to enjoy, just as soon as that’s possible.
We miss our visitors and are desperately looking forward to the day we can get back to being the welcoming and vibrant destination we’re best known for.
Councillor Carmen Appich
Chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee