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The great outdoors – be cautious about social distancing as restrictions are eased

Cornwall’s beaches, parks, coast walks, and footpaths have remained open throughout lockdown so people can exercise.

Now that the Government has eased some restrictions Cornwall Council reminds residents that two-metre social distancing and avoiding crowds remain vital in the battle against Coronavirus.

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The new guidance means we can spend more time outdoors and enjoy a wider range of activities for any length of time, subject to social distancing rules. We can also spend time outdoors with one member of another household, one-on-one.

People can also travel further to enjoy their time outside, but they must not visit and stay overnight at a holiday home or second home, or visit the homes of friends and family - unless to help a vulnerable person, for medical reasons, or to take a child to another household with whom parental responsibilities are shared.

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “The new guidance and good weather mean that Cornwall’s outdoor spaces can expect much more use over the coming days and weeks.”

“For most of us this will be a welcome relief from the recent weeks of lockdown, but we must use caution and common sense in this sensitive post-peak time if we’re to prevent the virus spreading.”

Here is advice on how to safely enjoy Cornwall’s great outdoors:

  • The RNLI is still advising people to take great care in or on the water as Lifeguards are not present on the busier beaches where they might normally be expected. Please be extremely careful if you choose to swim, go boating or fishing, or undertake any watersports. We do not want RNLI Lifeboat crews to have to respond to wholly avoidable incidents near the shore, where their crews would also be risking virus transfer.
  • The new regulations for dogs on beaches come in to force from today (Friday 15 May), but for the moment they will affect only the 12 beaches in Cornwall that have Blue Flag or Seaside Award status, where no dogs will be allowed between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. On other beaches seasonal restrictions come into place from 1 July 2020 and will also be between 10.00 am and 6.00 pm. This allows dog owners to exercise with their pets before 10.00 am and after 6.00 pm, while the hours in between respect those who prefer to be on beaches without dogs present. Dogs on beaches information
  • We strongly recommend that dog owners keep their pets on leads in public areas at all times to help with social distancing, and also continue to pick up after their pets.
  • Cornwall’s parks, footpaths, coast path and other outdoor amenities are all open for exercise and leisure, however, play equipment remains out of bounds, and public toilets remain closed. We remind people to observe social distancing at all times, follow Government guidelines about the numbers of people you can be with, and to follow the Countryside Code. Cormac may be at work maintaining and mowing some sites, so please follow signs and any diversions.
  • In a continuing dry spell Cornwall Fire and Rescue asks you to not to light bonfires, to not leave barbecues unattended, and to avoid the use of fireworks or flying lanterns. Their teams are supporting Ambulance crews respond to Coronavirus – a much better use of their time than attending avoidable fires in sheds, hedges and gorse. Fire safety advice.