By Rachael Grealish
Chief Executive of The Lakes District National Park Authority is pleading for people to not visit the Lakes, despite the changes in COVID-19 guidelines.
In a 50-page document released yesterday it now states people are able to make ‘day trips’ and drive as far as they like for exercise as from Wednesday, May 13.
However, Richard Leafe, the CE of the Lake District National Park Authority is asking people to not ‘rush back to the Lake District’ and ‘help protect our communities’.
He said: “Following the Government’s announcement that people will be able to travel for exercise from Wednesday, we know that many will be keen to visit the Lake District. This is understandable for the many physical and mental health benefits the National Park provides.
“However, sadly Cumbria currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, therefore keeping our staff and local communities safe must remain our priority.”
In his statement he continued to say new visitors to the lakes would put ‘unnecessary pressure’ on emergency services.
“For example, our mountain rescue teams are made up of volunteers, many of whom work in the NHS and other frontline professions, so we cannot afford to put unnecessary pressure on them” he commented, “So for now, we’re asking people not to rush back to the Lake District – help protect our communities, the fells will still be here when this passes.”
Leafe went on to confirm many businesses in the Lakes would remain closed until the ‘time is right’.
“Campsites, hotels, restaurants and many businesses across the Lake District remain closed,” He added, “When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Lake District and have been working with partners to put measures in place that will help keep people safe, such as new car park information and availability to help plan ahead.
“For now, we ask everyone who lives in and visits the Lake District to act responsibly, continue to observe social distancing and stay safe. We wait to hear further details from the Government.”