‘Please stay away’ - Great Yarmouth Borough Council issues plea to would-be visitors

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Britta

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

Would-be visitors to Great Yarmouth have been told to stay away amid concerns that people may be drawn to the seaside as the lockdown is eased in England.

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Britta

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

The local borough council has said the town’s seafront car parks and public toilets will remain closed to discourage an influx of tourists to the resort which would risk the health and safety of both visitors and residents.

People are also being asked to stay away for now from neighbouring Gorleston and the local villages of Hopton, Caister, Hemsby and Winterton.

While driving to outdoor open spaces for exercise or leisure, irrespective of distance, is now permitted, tourist attractions, hotels and holiday parks must remain closed under government rules.

The council will continue to review its position as the situation develops.

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Britta

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

MORE: All quiet on the Norfolk coast as lockdown easesCllr Carl Smith, the council leader, said: “Public health and safety is the top priority, and maintaining social distancing is critical.

“We’re still very early on in the government’s stepped recovery plan, and we all have a part to play in controlling this deadly, infectious virus and saving lives.

“While people can travel, the message from Great Yarmouth to would-be tourists is please stay away for now, do not be tempted to congregate on our coast, risking the safety of yourself, your family and the local community.

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“So far, people have been good in staying away and we would like to see that continue for the time being.”

Lyndon Bevan, chairman of the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement Area (GYTABIA), said: “As part of discouraging potential tourists from visiting, the council has taken the sensible decision of keeping our car parks and toilets closed for now, just as tourist attractions, hotels and holiday parks must remain closed. It’s still not the time for tourism. Please spread the word, not the virus.”

On Wednesday (May 13), first day of the loosened lockdown, grey skies appeared to have kept sunseekers away from Great Yarmouth.

A few miles north, Winterton Beach carpark was reopened, with its owners hoping to “avoid a situation where the village is packed with visitors’ cars”.

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Britta

Great Yarmouth during lock down May 2020. First day of driving restrictions lifted. Pictures: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant