Coastal council leader urges ‘safety first’ approach after restrictions eased

PUBLISHED: 10:30 14 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:31 14 May 2020

The deserted Royal Plain in Lowestoft during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The deserted Royal Plain in Lowestoft during the Coronavirus lockdown. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


A council leader has asked residents to put safety first after changes to lockdown guidelines allowed visitors to return to parks and beaches.

East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant has warned the changes should not be seen as a green light to push the limits of what is safe and reasonable.

He said: “I think it’s entirely reasonable for the government to allow people a little more flexibility in what they can and can’t do, but people must understand that very clear rules remain in place to keep us all as safe and healthy as possible.

“I think the guidance is reasonably clear and the people of East Suffolk will have a pretty good handle on what’s permitted.

“However, it is also entirely understandable that some local destinations will be worried about influxes and I hope that people will think very carefully about any plans they make for travelling and visting in East Suffolk.

“Second homes remain ‘out of bounds’ for overnight stays of course, but with further good weather forecast over the next few days, I would be concerned if large numbers of people descended on our coastal and resort destinations and this is where common sense and caution is really important.

“The bottom line is that if people push this too far, tougher restrictions will be re-introduced and this is absolutely something which we must all do our very best to avoid.

“The ‘stay home’ message has not entirely disappeared and social distancing remains an incredibly important part of suppressing the virus.”

The changes to restrictions was met with similar caution in Southwold. Ian Bradbury, town mayor of Southwold, said: “There’s bound to be people coming in the next few weeks. It’s a question of how many.

“It’s going to continue to be a concern. We depend on everyone to be responsible and not put other people in danger. There’s no such thing as no risk.

The Broads Authority confirmed this week that sailing, paddle boating and privately-owned powered boats can be used on the Broads for day trips, as long as social distancing guidelines are followed.

Hours after the changes were introduced on Wednesday, however, a sailor was rescued from Oulton Broad after the skipper dinghy he was travelling in capsized.

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