Agencies prepared for crowds and very hot weather this weekend - Public Health Dorset

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Agencies prepared for crowds and very hot weather this weekend

Partner agencies across Dorset are encouraging people to enjoy Dorset safely this weekend, as temperatures are expected to reach highs of around 27 degrees.

Measures are in place to cope with additional demand which could be placed on councils, the Police, Fire Service and the NHS as visitors are welcomed back to Dorset’s recovering hospitality industry, over what is expected to be a hot weekend.

Coastal towns and rural beaches are obvious hotspots for visitors and partner agencies are confident that by working together the robust plans that they have jointly put in place are able to manage the potential for high numbers of visitors.

Cllr Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council said: “It’s important that as people enjoy Dorset this weekend, they do so safely. Thankfully we are welcoming back visitors in good numbers now, but we all need to play our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 while out and about in Dorset. I’m confident that the plans we have with our partners will cope with any anticipated additional pressure this weekend.”

Here are the top tips for a safe and healthy weekend:

  • Know before you go - plan ahead before setting off, plan where you might park
  • Be prepared to sit in traffic
  • Check @TravelDorset Twitter for accidents, delays or roadworks
  • Be safe by the water because there may not be lifeguards present on some beaches
  • Don’t use disposable barbecues or have campfires
  • Please park considerately, respect the communities you are visiting
  • Wear a face covering where necessary
  • Keep up good hand washing
  • Practice social distancing
  • Avoid direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm, wear a hat and sunglasses
  • Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydrating (especially so for babies and children)

Local GP and Chair of NHS Dorset CCG Dr Forbes Watson said: “Whilst we are past the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for us to remain vigilant and stay alert to stay safe.

“With this in mind we are asking people to help reduce the spread of the virus by listening and adhering to the national advice, but don’t put off seeking help if you need it and when you do need it, use the most appropriate care for your needs”.

Evidence gathered over recent weeks, that people are using their common sense and are leaving places which feel too busy to be socially distanced from other people.

Councillor Mark Howell, deputy leader of BCP Council, said: “This weekend is looking like it will be the hottest for many years and whilst we recognise many people will be intent on enjoying a day at the beach, we urge everyone to remain vigilant about their personal safety as we are still in a pandemic and take responsibility for their actions.

“The council will be working closely with its multi-agency partners throughout the weekend and should visitor numbers rise we have plans in place and resources available to respond to ensure the area is managed safely.”

Supt Richard Bell from Dorset Police, said: “We have seen a significant increase in demand during the last few weeks with the good weather attracting thousands more people to Dorset.

“We would ask anyone coming to the area to be prepared; it will be busy, please take care on our roads and respect the fact that many beaches will be near capacity and you may need to change your plans and find another less busy location.

“We are working closely with our partners to maintain a safe environment for everyone, but it is critical people act responsibly, park considerately and remember that COVID-19 has not gone away. Everyone must play their part in maintaining the safety for residents and visitors alike.”

Area Manager Craig Baker, from Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “While we completely understand that people will want to get outside and enjoy the glorious weather, we do ask that they take a picnic or buy a takeaway rather than use a disposable barbecue or campfire. This weekend carries an Amber risk of wildfire and nobody wants to see another fire like the one that destroyed so much of Wareham Forest in May.

“We also ask parents and families to ensure that children are staying safe when outdoors, as we do see an increase in deliberate fires at this time of year.”

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