Sidmouth Town Council chairman welcomes 'road map to normality'

  Posted: 23.02.21 at 14:04 by Philippa Davies

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The chairman of Sidmouth Town Council has welcomed the announcement of a timetable for removing Covid restrictions – and called on the town’s businesses to welcome the return of visitors.

If the vaccination programme continues successfully and infection rates carry on falling, self-catering holidays will be permitted in the UK – although without the mixing of households – after April 12.

Hotels and B&Bs will reopen at the next stage of the process, starting no earlier than May 17.

More details on the timetable here.

Cllr Ian Barlow gave Sidmouth Nub News his response to the announcement – emphasising that these are his own personal views, not those of the town council.

He said: “We are going to have visitors here from the 12th of April, they will be opening second homes, campsites, caravans etc.

“There will be a lot of people here who disagree with that, but we can’t change it, and our economy down here is a really important part of our lives, and we need it.

“So all I can say is, we need to be welcoming to these people, and if you’re worried about it and think it’s too soon, just avoid them.”

'We need to be better than everywhere else'

Cllr Barlow added that, with large numbers of visitors likely this summer, it’s important for Sidmouth to remember what attracts people to the town, and work to maintain its high-quality image.

He said: “We need to be better than everywhere else. And as far as I’m concerned, Sidmouth is better, it’s more beautiful.

“We’re surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we’ve got the seafront, a World Heritage site, Regency buildings and interesting architecture, all that will keep people coming here.

“We need to make sure the service and the quality of what we offer is better than everywhere else, so that we are and remain a premier quality, reassuringly expensive resort.”

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