Council and police leaders: please stay at home and avoid travelling to the countryside
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Local authority leaders and police chiefs across Staffordshire are appealing for people to stay at home and avoid travelling to the countryside.
With warm weather expected this weekend leaders from Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Police are reinforcing the call for the public to avoid travelling to popular locations such as heathland and country parks.
Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet member for Communities, said: “Please stay at home and follow government advice to take your exercise locally. We must all work together to reduce the burden on the NHS and save lives.”
“Under the current restrictions we would urge people not to travel by car to our country parks or gather in groups, the reality is that at the moment they are only for the use of local residents.”
Assistant Chief Constable Simon Tweats said: “We understand that in the warmer weather it can be tempting for people to think they can visit places such as Cannock Chase or the Roaches, but we’re asking people to stay at home.
“There was initially some confusion around exercising but people should only be exercising near their homes and not travelling to the countryside.
“This is really important to avoid people congregating at car parks or laybys or beauty spots.”
ACC Tweats said that the majority of people in Staffordshire had complied with the government regulations.
“Our approach is very much to work with our communities across Staffordshire. I’ve been out and about on patrol this week and people have been great, but we don’t want a small minority to risk further spread of COVID-19.”
Chief Inspector Becky Hyde, area commander for Cannock Chase, said there had still been some reports of walkers and cyclists travelling to the Chase.
“It’s broadly a positive picture where people do understand just how important this is, but we don’t want people to be tempted to travel this weekend. Please work with us and help us to keep you safe.”
“We understand that there are small numbers of local people who live within these immediate areas who may continue to walk dogs and exercise, but cars should only be used for essential journeys.”
Chief Inspector Hyde said the same rules applied to those who would travel by car to cycle or use mountain bikes.
“We all need to work together to prevent the spread of Covid-19, protect the NHS and save lives. Thank you for your support in staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. The beautiful Staffordshire countryside will still be there in a few weeks for us all to enjoy.”