Clear Message From Cumbria And The Lake District: Now Is Not The Time To Visit

Cumbria’s multi-agency Local Resilience Forum is asking for people to stay local for their exercise and not to rush back to the Lake District just yet.

The agency has issued a three point message to those that do decide to visit after the lockdown restrictions were eased on yesterday (Wednesday May 13).

Respect our local communities

  • Be considerate and don’t do things that increase the risk or cause problems for local people, particularly the vulnerable: avoid using paths through farmers’ yards; keep your dog on a lead and take your litter home.
  • Plan ahead and avoid busy places: use to park safely and considerately, avoid the more popular destinations.
  • Bring your own food and drink as not to increase pressure on local shops.
  • Consider the lack of toilet and washing facilities and don’t behave in an anti-social manner.

Respect the Risk

  • Cumbria continues to record new COVID-19 cases every day, the threat has not gone
  • Don’t take risks on the fells, on the water or on the roads. Stay within the limits of your ability and equipment at all times.
  • Help may take longer to arrive and you will put unnecessary additional pressure on local health and emergency workers, volunteer mountain rescue and coastal rescue services.

Respect the Rules

  • Observe all the Government’s social distancing rules.
  • No overnight stays, no camping, no visiting second homes.
  • Wash your hands regularly.

The clear message from Cumbria and the Lake District is now is not the time to visit the area as fears of an influx of visitors will put local communities and emergency services at further unnecessary risk.

Cumbria’s Director of Public Health, Colin Cox said “We have had well over 2000 confirmed infections and around 400 deaths as a result of COVID-19 and it’s only as a result of the lockdown restrictions that those grim totals aren’t even worse.

“We understand that lockdown can’t last forever, we certainly don’t want it to, but I’d urge people to really consider whether a visit to the Lake District is the right thing to do at the current time. As the Government says, the best way to beat this virus remains to stay home as much as possible.”

The county continues to experience one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the country, with higher numbers of infections and deaths than elsewhere, shops and visitor amenities are still closed.

Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, Chair of Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum, said “We know people love the Lakes and when the time is right we will of course warmly welcome back visitors.

“But now is not the right time. Cumbria has been one of the worst affected parts of the UK and Coronavirus is far from over, we still have people being infected and people dying in the county on a daily basis.

“People coming into the county from elsewhere just makes the job of containing and controlling the outbreak more difficult.

“We’ve said it before, the Lake District isn’t going anywhere, so please put off your visit for now.”

Chief Executive at the Lake District National Park Authority, Richard Leafe said “We understand that people are keen to enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits of the Lake District National Park, however we’re appealing to people not to rush back.

“Many of the facilities that visitors usually enjoy, such as toilets, restaurants and campsites, are not open, so it’s a very different experience in the National Park at the moment.

“If people are exercising, we’d urge you not to take unnecessary risks to help protect our volunteer mountain rescue service and local communities.”

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