Police and park authority bosses urge people to stay at home over weekend

A message from residents of West Burton in the first lockdown. Photo: North Yorkshire Police.

North Yorkshire Police and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority have once again urged people to stay home this weekend to help combat the coronavirus.

Officials say that Government guidance has not changed.

People should be avoiding all non-essential travel into or around the national parks, and when heading out for exercise this should be done locally using open spaces near to home.

Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable and Gold commander leading the response to COVID-19, said the measures had been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to protect the NHS and to save lives.

He added: “Our high-visibility patrols will continue, as police officers engage, explain and encourage members of the public to adhere to the guidelines.

“The vast majority of people are doing just that, but there are some who continue to flout the rules. The guidance has not changed – exercise can be taken from your doorstep, so there is no justifiable reason to make lengthy journeys into National Parks or anywhere else.

“Please remember – by doing the right thing now, we will stop the spread of this virus, and protect the NHS, the vulnerable, and our loved ones.”

David Butterworth, chief executive of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, said: “People should not be making special journeys to the countryside to exercise, but to use the green spaces nearest to them.

“Many in our community fall into most the vulnerable category of people.

“Please show them the consideration you would your own family and friends, and visit when the time is right.”

Public rights of way remain open for local use as permitted by law, but social distancing measures should always be maintained, such as keeping at least two metres apart and only going outside with members of your own household.

For the latest Government guidance on access to open spaces please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces. [kofi]