In an effort to protect visitors and local communities, the North York Moors National Park Authority, Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Cleveland Police and North Yorkshire Police are urging people once again to stay home this weekend to help combat the coronavirus.
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.
These measures have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to protect our NHS and to save lives.
Andy Wilson, Chief Executive of the North York Moors National Park Authority, said: “We recognise that the clear majority of people are following the guidance and we are truly thankful to all those individuals. But we must remain resilient and patient if we are to beat COVID-19 so our weekend message is clear. Stay home. Stay Safe. Save lives.”
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.
Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police’s Assistant Chief Constable and Gold commander leading the response to COVID-19, said: “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.”
Chief Superintendent Thom McLoughlin, Head of Local Policing at Cleveland Police, said: “The Force has not relaxed the government lockdown rules and we will be continuing to patrol our four districts over the weekend and beyond to ensure people are complying with the rules. We understand it is difficult to stay indoors when the weather is nice but by staying home you are protecting loved ones and keyworkers who are risking their lives to save others. Please do not make unnecessary journeys until the restrictions have been lifted and stay home unless there is a reasonable excuse to leave. If we all work together we can save lives by protecting the vulnerable people living in our area and the NHS. Thank you to everyone who has abided by the rules so far and have a safe weekend.”
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 2 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.