With the warmer weather arriving and Easter approaching, people across the country have been tempted out to beauty spots, beaches and parks, going against the Government's social distancing rules.

"We are used to welcoming people and sharing the beauty of our district with everyone, but now is definitely not the time to visit the Chichester District," says Councillor Roy Briscoe, Cabinet Member for Community Services and Culture at Chichester District Council.  "We know that people will be keen to visit our coastline and countryside, especially as the weather has started to improve but please don't.

"Instead, we need you to stay at home and keep safe. Social distancing is vital and we all need to play our part in supporting our NHS workers battle this virus. By staying at home you will be saving lives and protecting the NHS. We can't wait to welcome you back when this crisis is over but for now, we need you to continue with the current restrictions and avoid any non-essential travel."

The Prime Minister announced on 23 March that everyone must stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. People should only leave their home for one of the following four reasons: 

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household - and this should be done locally
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

Gatherings of more than two people in public are banned, unless they are members of your own household. Social events, weddings and baptisms cannot go ahead. 

Just at the weekend a number of people including surfers and swimmers were spotted using the water at Bracklesham while the car parks team closed three of its car parks as a precaution on the advice of Sussex Police.

Currently Bracklesham Bay, East Beach Selsey and Marine Drive, West Wittering car parks are closed to the public. The council is closely monitoring the situation to determine whether these restrictions should remain in place.

At the moment the district council's foreshores office at Bracklesham has been closed so people are putting themselves at risk if they use the water there.

Residents who list their properties on Air B&B are also being instructed not to take any bookings or advertise them as 'coronavirus retreats' and people with second homes are urged to stay in their primary home.

People concerned about gatherings should report these to Sussex Police using their dedicated online report form: https://www.sussex.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/

For more advice and information about Chichester District Council's response to the coronavirus situation please see our dedicated web pages at www.chichester.gov.uk/coronavirus 

Date of release: 7 April 2020

Reference: 3970