Do the right thing and stay local, leader urges
15 Jan 2021
The leader of Northumberland County Council is urging people to “do the right thing” and not travel to the county’s beaches and other beauty spots during the current national lockdown.
While most people are doing their bit to follow the guidance on staying at home to help protect the NHS and save lives, the county’s countryside and coastal hotspots and villages are still seeing a large influx of visitors, especially at weekends.
There’s also been reports that some of our communities are finding it difficult to access local shops due to the numbers of visitors to the area.
Huge electronic signs have now been placed on key roads in Northumberland reminding people of the “Essential Travel Only – Stay Local” message, with more signs in production for town centres and country parks.
Council Leader Glen Sanderson said: “We want to thank all of those who are doing their utmost to stick with the guidance and either stay at home or stay very local when they do go out.
“We know it’s difficult and none of us enjoy these restrictions but our hospitals are still under immense pressure supporting increasing numbers of patients becoming seriously ill.
“With the more transmissible variant of the virus now accounting for approximately half of the current cases, it's vital we all follow the regulations at all times.
“Currently people are asked to stay at home except for a few exceptional reasons, including for exercise. However the guidance is clear that people should stay local if they do have to go out, and if they go somewhere that is already busy, turn around and go home.
“We’re doing all we can to reinforce that message, with electronic signs out at key points across the county. We would really ask people to do the right thing. Do they really need to travel any distance to do their exercise or get fresh air?
“We must all continue to stay at home except for the permitted exemptions and avoid mixing with other households, maintain social distancing, hand hygiene and the use of face coverings and do everything we can now to prevent our NHS services from becoming overwhelmed and vulnerable people in our communities from dying.”