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Residents reminded to stay at home and save lives

Residents and visitors are being reminded to stay indoors to exercise or to do it in their local area to avoid unnecessary travel during the coronavirus outbreak.

Car parks at tourism destinations along the Northumberland coast and at Rothbury, along with the county’s three main country parks, were closed last week following the Government’s guidance on all non-essential travel and clear instruction that people should stay at home.

And while the vast majority of people have abided by the rules, a small minority have continued to drive to council-run parks and carparks - rather than staying local when taking their daily exercise.

In a further move to deter drivers, electronic signs will now be used to reinforce the “stay at home, stay safe, save lives” message, while extra security measures are being installed at the entrance to some car parks to stop vehicles getting in.

Urban country parks, parks and green spaces will remain open to enable local residents to exercise, but playgrounds are now closed, and all residents should adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and gatherings. This will be kept under review and may be subject to further change.

Council Leader Peter Jackson said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has followed the Government’s clear advice on non-essential travel, by staying indoors or exercising near or from home really will help save lives.

“However, whilst the number of people driving to our car parks has reduced, unfortunately there’s still a minority who are ignoring the rules and travelling by car which is classed as non-essential travel - and in some cases moving the barriers we have installed so they can get in.

“This kind of behaviour puts other people at risk, and enforcement action will be taken against those who ignore these closures.

“With Easter fast approaching, I’d appeal to everyone to do the right thing and stay at home. 

“It’s vital every single one of us heeds the Government’s messages to not go out unless strictly necessary. Following this guidance will help save many lives.”
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