Second homes and holiday lets off-limits as coast gets set for fine weekend
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020
People are being warned to stay away from second homes and holiday lets as fine weather forecast for the weekend sparks fears some may flout the rules.
The partial easing of lockdown means people can travel to beauty spots and beaches regardless of distance as long as they socially-distance.
Many attractions and facilities such as car parks, toilets, pubs and cafes remain closed.
But overnight stays away from main residences remain forbidden.
A Norfolk police spokesman said the force looked into all reports it received of people breaking the rules.
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She added officers would be looking at those gathering in groups with those not in their household, as this is not legally permitted in the regulations.
This includes those leaving their house for one of the reasons not designated as a reasonable excuse, such as going on holiday, including to visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home.
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She added: “We police by consent and will continue to engage, explain, encourage and, only as a last resort and where people are quite clearly breaking the law will we enforce it.”
MORE - Council leader urges ‘safety first’ approachBroadland MP Jerome Mayhew said: “You cannot travel to your second homes - this isn’t allowed under the old rules or the new.
“The government has made the small step to ease restrictions to make life easier, but this relies on people respecting the spirit of the rules and not going too far or pushing the boundaries.
“If people do travel to their homes, it will not go unnoticed. I don’t have all the figures from Norfolk constabulary, but I know that their approach so far has been to educate the public on what they can and can’t do and, as a last resort, fine them for their behaviour if this fails to get through to people.
“I’m sure they are not ruling out fining people if, for example, people travelling to their second homes becomes a common occurrence.”
OPINION - Stay away from the seaside and leave the coast for the localsGreat Yarmouth MP Brandon Lewis said: “The government advice on second homes is clear, people should be staying at their main home, and should not be staying in their second homes. I do understand that many people find this frustrating, but it is necessary.”
North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker said people were still not allowed to visit second homes, even for just for a couple of hours during the day before returning to their main address.
He said: “Leaving the place that you live to stay at another home for a holiday or another purpose is still not allowed, and that includes visiting a second home.
“The reason for that is that you can travel for outdoor exercise or recreation, but under the guidance, a second home is not an outdoor open space.”
East Suffolk Council leader Steve Gallant said: “I hope that people will think very carefully about any plans they make for travelling and visiting 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 are really important.”
Southwold councillor David Beavan said that the town was already getting busier.
“I think Steve Gallant is right to be cautious,” he said.
“We are worried about the number of people who will come.”