South West News

Update from Devon's Top Attractions

With growing worries over the spread of Coronavirus across the county, the last few members of ‘Devon’s Top Attractions’ (the Devon Association of Tourist Attractions - DATA) who remained open have effectively been told to close for business from tonight (Monday 23 March) by the Prime Minister.

Last few of Devon's Top Attractions who remained open now told to close after latest Government intervention to control Covid 19 virus outbreak

 

The members concerned were all employing special measures to welcome visitors safely, most of whom simply wanted to get outside into the great outdoors and enjoy themselves in some rare sunshine this week whilst also obeying the Government latest ‘two-metre proximity rule’ to other people.

 

Those few still open for business were largely open-air attractions and had made special arrangements for visitors by restricting access to closed-in areas as listed in Government guidance, such as pubs and cafes etc, and they were employing detailed risk assessments, plus special hygiene and enhanced cleaning measures and washing stations around their sites to help tackle the risk of possible infection.

 

All of these members were still not considered to be subject to the Government’s current guidance on social distancing until tonight’s announcement limiting movement and gatherings to only essential travel.

 

Devon’s Top Attractions Chairman Dick Wood said: “We have all been expecting this announcement from the Government in the light of recent events and it should create absolute certainty for both the public and our members for the time being at least about what everyone can do now.

 

“With schools now closed until further notice, many parents, grandparents and carers might have been looking for safe places to take children and get them out of the house rather than looking at TVs and computers, so the attractions felt they were well placed to provide that ‘safety-valve’ during the Covid 19 crisis.

 

“But DATA members are naturally all keen to look to the future for the good of Devon’s economy and we are not easily beaten. We are all trying to remain positive about what will happen to our businesses and helping loyal staff and armies of volunteers who underpin it all. Members have received several detailed advice briefing papers from DATA’s Exec team in the last week on the help and guidance available to them, and many will be relieved by tonight’s news, but the devil is always in the detail of course!

 

“Things changed so very quickly for everyone and on what now seems to have been a daily basis. So, with all DATA members now effectively being told to close, and who welcome some five million visitors annually, there will probably be an adverse effect in time for many local people despite the financial help on offer from the Government.                                                                                                                


“Devon’s Top Attractions plans to keep its members and the local media regularly updated so that we have a complete picture for everyone’s benefit, but the information should also be readily available from individual member websites too of course.”                         

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