Incidents of people ignoring the current lockdown restrictions and attempting to camp overnight at local beauty spots in the Lake District is prompting Cumbria’s multi-agency Local Resilience Forum to remind people that overnight stays are not permitted under the new guidance and anyone found breaking the rule will be asked to move on, and potentially fined.
The rules apply to all forms of overnight stays by visitors – including camping, motorhomes, caravans, boats and second homes.
On Monday the Prime Minister answered a question during the daily briefing from an Ambleside resident on the issue of trips to the Lake District saying “So there cannot be any question of people just going off for holidays in places like the Lake District”
During the briefing on Thursday, the Transport Secretary addressed the specific issue of camping holidays saying “people have to stay in their own homes, and not stay over anywhere”.
Cumbria LRF continues to stress that now is not the time to visit Cumbria and the Lake District, but if people insist on doing so then they are asked to show respect:
Respect our local communities
· Be considerate and don’t do things that increase the risk or cause problems for local people, particularly the vulnerable: avoid using paths through farmers’ yards; keep your dog on a lead and take your litter home.
· Plan ahead and avoid busy places: use saferlakes.co.uk to park safely and considerately and avoid the more popular destinations.
· Bring your own food and drink to avoid pressure on local shops.
· Consider the lack of toilet and washing facilities and don’t behave in an anti-social manner.
Respect the risk
· Cumbria continues to record new cases of the virus every day and the threat has not gone away
· Don’t take risks on the fells, on the water or on the roads. Stay within the limits of your ability and equipment at all times.
· If you get into trouble help may take longer to arrive and you will put unnecessary additional pressure on local health and emergency workers as well as volunteer mountain rescue and coastal rescue services.
Respect the rules
· Observe all the Government’s social distancing rules.
· No overnight stays, no camping, no visiting second homes.
· Avoid crowds.
· Wash your hands regularly.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, Chair of Cumbria’s Local Resilience Forum, said:
“While lockdown restrictions have eased, it is absolutely clear in the guidance that while people may visit the area they are not permitted to stay overnight in any way. The police will take action on reports of these rules being flouted. We understand it is frustrating and people want to enjoy our beautiful county, but the rules are there to keep our communities safe and we cannot stand by if people choose to ignore them. As I’ve said before, we very much look forward to welcoming visitors back, but now is not the right time and we would urge people to stay local for the time being.”