Sefton Council and its coastal partners are urging caution as people make plans to visit its popular beaches this Bank Holiday, as national restrictions on the numbers of people allowed to meet up outdoors have eased further.
While the Council is prepared for the busy weekend and school half term holidays with extra bins and beach car parking, temporary toilet facilities and an increased presence of Green Sefton Rangers and volunteers – it is urging people to remember that Covid-19 safety measures are still in place.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:
“Many of our local residents, and visitors from further afield, will be looking forward to visiting the coast as the weather hopefully improves this weekend and larger groups are now allowed to meet outdoors.
“However, people need to continue to be vigilant so that our coast remains a safe place for everyone to spend time. This means social distancing should still be observed, even at the beach, and people should be mindful that close contact should be minimised to only a few friends and family.”
Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said:
“Although we are less likely to catch Covid in the open air it’s still possible, which is why it’s important still to follow the basics of hands, face and space when meeting with others.”
Those thinking about visiting one of Sefton’s coastal gateways are reminded to travel safely, thinking about ways to walk or cycle where they can and to follow Covid-19 guidance when using public transport. They should also plan ahead to avoid traffic delays and are reminded to park responsibly away from residential areas.
People may want to consider a visit to one of Sefton’s parks, where playgrounds and sports facilities offer a space for people of all ages to spend time outdoors. Or similarly, a visit to a local high street or town centre for a spot of shopping or a bite to eat will help to support businesses who’ve just reopened in line with Covid-19 measures.
Cllr Moncur added:
“We’re doing all we can to work with our communities and partners like the emergency services to safely manage visitor numbers. We hope that the further opening of indoor hospitality, and less restrictions on travel for staycations, will ensure that our coast does not face the same pressures it did this time last year.”
Visitors are also reminded of the environmental sensitivities and how they can play their role in protecting the landscape by taking litter home and not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast.
Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said:
“We are asking people to remain respectful not only to each other but to the environment around them when they meet in larger groups. The Sefton Coast is an internationally protected nature reserve and we need your help to keep it that way.
“I want to appeal to the small number of inconsiderate people who do chose to dispose of their rubbish irresponsibly or think it’s OK to have a fire or BBQ at the beach, that this damages rare habitats and takes away limited resources from ourselves and our partners to clear up the mess left behind.
“We want to welcome people back to our beaches safely, but we ask in return that they behave responsibly and with consideration to each other, local residents, our staff and our beautiful environment.”
Anyone planning a visit to the Sefton coast should visit www.sbeaches.gov.uk/beaches to find out about travel options and facilities at its beaches and to read its Visitor Action Plan for 2021.
The Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership brings together organisations who want to ensure the safety of visitors and residents along the 22-mile coastline. Members include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, British Transport Police, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and others.