Following widespread calls for people to wait until the county’s attractions and businesses reopen before visiting, the vast majority of people avoided the rural and coastal visitor hot spots last weekend.
While there was an increase in vehicles in areas like the national parks and more walkers and cyclists exploring the countryside, the anticipated crowds were much lower than feared, especially on the coast.
Richard Flinton, chairman of North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum and North Yorkshire County Council chief executive, has now reiterated the call for people to avoid busy areas.
Join our new coronavirus Facebook group for the latest confirmed news and advice as soon as we get it www.facebook.com/groups/yorkshirecoronavirusHe said: “The vast majority of people did the right thing and avoided potentially busy areas. We applaud everyone for that collective effort. There were measures in place in some key locations to minimise parking and better facilitate social distancing and these seem to have been largely welcome.
“Compliance with the public health advice to stay at least two metres apart was broadly very good and we are grateful for the public’s continued support. As we head towards a warm bank holiday weekend – everyone’s buy-in remains critical to reduce transmission of Covid-19 and save lives.
“Please continue to protect yourselves and your families by avoiding crowds and washing your hands regularly. It’s understandable that some communities are anxious about visitors so thank you for being thoughtful and considerate to the people living where you want to explore.
“Everything will still be here in a few weeks’ time and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our beauty spots and the whole of North Yorkshire when it’s safe to do so and our shops, cafés and restaurants are open again.”
The message was backed by Scarborough Council’s deputy leader Coun Liz Colling.
Coun Colling added: “Thank you to all ‘would be’ visitors who stayed close to home and chose not to visit our coastal towns and villages at the weekend. We really appreciate the sensible approach the majority of people have taken. Our toilets and car parks remain closed and, in line with government guidance, many local businesses are not open yet.
“With the weather expected to warm up again this week, I ask people to continue to play their part in helping to control the spread of coronavirus by only coming back to visit us when we are ready to welcome you properly. That time will come, but we’re not there yet.”
North Yorkshire Police’s Superintendent Charlotte Bloxham, silver commander for the response to Covid-19, revealed 24 fines were issued by officers over the weekend between Friday and Sunday.
She added: “Despite being called to over 300 incidents where members of the public reported suspected breaches, on arrival, officers found that on the whole, people were observing the guidelines and regulations.
“There have been pockets where we have had to engage, explain and encourage people to stick to the rules, but we have only used enforcement as a last resort.”
The county council has not yet revealed if it will close Royal Albert Drive and Marine Drive in Scarborough to traffic for a second weekend running to help people to remain socially distant.
Parking areas in Whitby were also closed off to try and restrict the number of vehicles able to travel into the town.
Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you.