Northumberland residents urged to act responsibly over Easter to keep infection rates down
Residents and visitors to Northumberland are being urged to protect the summer by acting responsibly this Easter.
The coming bank holiday weekend is expected to be busy but the current guidance is still that travel should be minimised where possible and that unnecessary trips should be avoided.
And while Covid-19 restrictions have been eased, many facilities, shops and hospitality venues will not be fully open with food and drink only available from essential shops or takeaways.
Northumberland County Council and its partners are asking people to think of others and continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of Covid by staying local.
Throughout the weekend the council will be working alongside Northumbria Police, Northumberland National Park Authority and Forestry England to get this message across.
Rick O’Farrell, the council’s interim executive director of local services, said: “We expect it will be very busy over Easter now lockdown restrictions have eased slightly, but we want to remind everybody that they should still be keeping travel to a minimum, and we would ask everyone to be responsible and take a few simple steps when out and about.
“Parking responsibly, respecting the countryside and taking litter home aren’t difficult things to do, but they can make a big difference.
"We’ll be doing our best to keep bins emptied but if they’re full, bring your own bag and dispose of it when you return home. Please don't leave it next to an already full bin as this contributes to littering.
“And please do not use portable barbecues or light campfires due to the fire risk – we had a number of problems caused by these last summer."
Council staff will be working to keep areas clean and tidy, while managing car parks and taking enforcement action where necessary.
Liz Morgan, the county’s director of public health, is reminding people that actions taken now can help protect our freedoms later this year.
She explained: “We’re going to have to live safely with COVID-19 for the foreseeable future, and a key part of that is for us to keep the infection rates as low as possible.
“It’s important people don’t assume we’re out of the woods yet and our actions every day will impact on what happens a few weeks and a few months down the line."
Northumbria Police will be carrying out extra patrols in parks, the countryside and along the coastline.
Northern Communities Chief Inspector Ron Charlton said: “Anticipating that beauty spots around the area will be popular places for people to meet, we have brought forward a number of initiatives to tackle anti-social behaviour.
“By putting such measures in place, we hope that everyone can enjoy the latest changes to the restrictions.”
Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, added: “The National Park is a living, working place and spring is an incredibly important time of year for both lambing and ground-nesting birds. We are asking everyone to follow local signs and the countryside code by sticking to paths, keeping dogs on leads and taking their litter home."