Concern for elderly community in Church Stretton following ease in lockdown travel rules
Concern has been expressed about the risk to a largely elderly community in Shropshire following the Government's relaxation of Covid-19 travel guidelines.
Following the ease in lockdown restrictions last week, people are now able to travel freely within England for exercise.
However, Mayor of Church Stretton, Councillor Bob Welch, hopes that visitors within the vicinity of the town – which sits within the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty – will pay close heed to social distancing rules when potentially in close proximity to high-risk, elderly residents.
"Because Church Stretton has a high number of elderly members, all residents have been acutely aware that the coronavirus poses a particular threat to this community," he said.
"For that reason, with few exceptions, there has been, up until now, a high level of compliance with the Government’s instruction on social distancing.
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"With the easing of lockdown and particularly the permission to travel into the countryside, Church Stretton, at the heart of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, will cease to be a community in isolation.
"In normal times, Church Stretton would extend a friendly welcome to visitors. However, in the present circumstances, it is hoped that visitors will appreciate they bring a potential threat of cross-infection into this community, unless they, too, pay scrupulous attention to the requirement of social distancing in the proximity of residents.
"The apprehension of residents is compounded by the fact that, at this critical juncture, Government guidance is open to very variable interpretation and much is left to the individual’s sense of social responsibility. It is vital that residents and visitors accord each other due respect."