Police officers based at Southport Police Station have patrolled local beauty spots in Southport and Formby, urging people to stay at home to stop the spread of Coronavirus

Beaches in Southport and Formby “are not able to cope with high levels of visitors at the moment” with people urged to stay away during the current hot weather. 

Sefton Council has joined forces with Merseyside Police and Mersey Fire and Rescue Service to urge people to be sensible after more lockdown restrictions were eased yesterday by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. 

They say that since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside “we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and Formby, Ainsdale and Sefton beaches”.

 A Sefton Council spokesman said: “Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high levels of visitors at the moment.

“We understand that some lockdown measures have been eased nationally but that does not mean that we are through the worst of this and as ever, the health and safety of our communities comes first.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this dangerous time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.

“We need people to think about their safety and the safety of others.”

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The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times and that people should only meet up with the permitted number of people from other households when outdoors.

Public transport should also be avoided other than for essential journeys, and people should only make journeys by cycling, walking or driving in a private vehicle. People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

Sefton Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “We understand how frustrated people have been at not being able to leave home for a number of weeks.

“However our current advice remains that people should remain at home wherever possible and if they choose to leave home they should continue to socially distance and only meet up with the permitted number of people.

“We would also continue to ask people to be respectful if they are visiting local beauty spots. Please don’t leave your litter behind or use campfires or barbecues. And if you must use your car please have consideration for local residents and other road users.”

 Mersey Fire and Rescue Service station Manager Lauren Woodward said: “We have seen a significant increase in our attendance to grass fires in recent weeks. Not only do they cause extensive damage to our natural environment and public amenities, but they also take crews away from dealing with other potentially life-threatening incidents.

“We would urge the public to be especially careful in the hot weather and make sure they dispose of their rubbish, cigarettes and barbecues safe. People should not be lighting fires or barbecues in woodland, on our beaches or in open countryside and they definitely should not be leaving these fires unattended.”

“We would also like to remind people, particularly parents, that deliberately setting a fire is arson. Deliberate fires are investigated. Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service’s Arson Team will be working with Merseyside Police, Local Authorities and other partner agencies to identify offenders. Please speak to your children about the very real consequences of arson for them and others.”

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