With the government’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, warning that the country is approaching “the worst two weeks of the pandemic”, officials in Shropshire are backing his calls for responsibility from the public and businesses.
Representatives from Shrewsbury Recovery Taskforce, made up of Shropshire Council, Shrewsbury Town Council and Shrewsbury BID (Business Improvement District), said everyone was working together to keep people safe.
Councillor Peter Nutting, leader of Shropshire Council, said: “There are concerns nationally, and indeed here in Shropshire, that the rules are being bent or broken, but we are in a critical phase of the pandemic and it is absolutely vital that we all stick to the rules.
“We all need to think carefully before leaving our homes - if it is not essential, then please stay at home. You should always stay local in your village or town and only travel further if legally permitted.”
Traffic interventions, such as closing Shrewsbury High Street to through-traffic and making Wyle Cop one-way, have been temporarily removed during the lockdown, but are due to be reintroduced when non-essential shops are allowed to open again.
Under the government rules, children’s play areas can remain open, and Shrewsbury Town Council has issued advice to parents and carers about their use.
Shrewsbury's town clerk,Helen Ball, said: “We appreciate that it’s a bit confusing, but the rules state that children’s play areas can stay open - although skateparks, BMX Tracks and outdoor gyms are closed.
“Therefore, our play areas have remained open but there are restrictions about the maximum number of people allowed at any one time, people must maintain the national social distancing rules and hand sanitiser must be used before and after using any of the equipment.
“We are asking people to be as cautious as possible, and only use play areas if they absolutely need to.
“The Town Council’s flagship play area in The Quarry is exceptionally busy. We have over 50 play areas around the town. Parents and carers are asked to exercise caution and use alternative play areas if their regular venue is busy.”