Dorset authorities: If an area is too busy, leave

Dorset Council and Dorset Police are both urging people to stay at home as much as possible, or if an area you are at is too busy, go somewhere else.

The message comes after an incident at Durdle Door on Saturday afternoon where people on the beach had to be put together in allocated areas to allow air ambulances to land.

Three people were seriously hurt after jumping into the sea from the top of the arch, and the area was evacuated.

Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove remain closed today although photos on social media show the area to be just as busy as yesterday.

Dorset Council’s Corporate Director and duty Gold Command Officer Jonathan Mair said: “It is vital that everyone continues to act responsibly. This weekend, with continued good weather, the number of visitors to the county has increased significantly. This is putting pressure on local beauty spots and beaches and we are seeing people not able to social distance properly.

“Unfortunately a number of people are parking inconsiderately and sometimes dangerously. We have taken measures to close a number of roads in the county today for safety reasons.

“If an area is busy, please head home and don’t add to the crowds. Our priority is to protect residents and visitors health and wellbeing and for them to stay safe.”

The Government’s health advice has not changed – we all still need to stay at home as much as possible to help stop the spread of the virus.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Callaghan, of Dorset Police, added: “The images circulated from Durdle Door yesterday show that too many people made the decision to go the beach rather than going elsewhere.

“The critical incident that occurred in this area demonstrates how important it is to act responsibly and not overcrowd our beaches.

“If an emergency situation arises, we need to be able to clear an area to allow for the treatment of seriously injured people. As there were too many people on the beach, we had no option but to put people together in to allocated areas to allow helicopters to land.

“Yet again, we would remind the public that if an area looks too busy, please go home or elsewhere.

“We enforce the law and not Government guidance or advice so we are unable to enforce social distancing, the wearing of masks or avoiding public transport.

“I am encouraging you all to do the right thing to avoid spreading the virus and reduce the impact on local communities.”

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