I know I’m not the only one deeply concerned about the government’s latest guidance that anyone is now “free to travel any distance” for a day trip.
There are ambiguities in the messages so far and we’re urgently reviewing the government’s recovery strategy document to work out how best to manage the new guidance.
Our priority, as always, is to keep people who live in the city safe.
With many workers furloughed and children out of school, a day on our beautiful beaches or strolling on the South Downs may seem to be a very welcome distraction to the boredom of lockdown.
Usually I would be first to welcome people from all over the country to enjoy the amenities that we locals are lucky enough to have on our doorstep.
The tourist industry is hugely important to our local economy. It usually accounts for over 21,000 jobs and around 15 per cent of employment in Brighton and Hove – and these businesses contribute massively to making the city the popular destination it is.
I long for the day that tourism and the businesses that depend on it are up and running again – safely.
However, with few facilities on offer and the health risk posed by thousands of day-trippers arriving on the sunniest days during a pandemic makes that seem further away than ever.
We have concerns around the impact on residents being able to maintain physical distancing if we have an influx of visitors.
Many people living in Brighton and Hove don’t have regular access to open spaces. Most of the shops and attractions remain closed.
As we’re able to go out more in household groups to play sport or visit a park together, it is vital to keep following the physical distancing guidance.
We need to make sure residents can continue to use all the city’s open spaces safely, and we are still asking people who don’t live here not to travel to Brighton and Hove.
We need a steady and safe progression towards lifting the restrictions, which means maintaining physical distancing and protecting lives.
That’s why I am urging visitors to stay away from Brighton and Hove, because my top priority is to keep people living in the city safe.
Councillor Nancy Platts is the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.