Lincolnshire County Council: ‘Stay at home’ urges health chief as lockdown traffic increases

Public health chiefs in Lincolnshire have urged people to stay off the roads in lockdown after reporting an increase in traffic.

Tony McGinty, assistant director of public health at Lincolnshire County Council, said people should only be out for essentials, such as medicine, food or exercise only.

Earlier this week, Public Health England officials reported an uptake in the number of cars on the road across the UK during lockdown.

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Dr Yvonne Doyle, medical director at Public Health England, described the trend as ‘concerning’.

Mr McGinty said Lincolnshire Police had reported similar concerns to local health officials as the number of cars on the road increased compared to earlier in the lockdown phase.

He said he understood the public’s frustrations, but reiterated that people should stay at home and only go out for essentials.

He added: “The number of vehicles have started to climb again and I can understand why some people may get that stir crazy feeling.

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“But the clear message is that we are a long way from being out of the woods yet.

“It [the message] remains the same, do go about your essential business like food, medicine and exercise. But do not do other business and think it’s important.

“It is not as important as helping other people avoid the virus.”

Yesterday, Nettleham Police reported an increase in traffic in its area and took to Facebook urging people to ‘stay at home and save lives’.

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Meanwhile, local authority officials have also urged people not to visit the Lincolnshire coast over the Easter weekend.

Police have appealed to drivers not to make the trip to the coast, while East Lindsey District Council has closed its main tourism car parks.

It comes as the UK is into its second week of lockdown, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson expected to review the measures over Easter.

But Mr McGinty told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that he expected the restrictions to be extended.

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He said: “Looking at the virus in other countries, we are weeks away from slacking off restrictions.”

So far, 20 patients who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Greater Lincolnshire.

The number of cases across the county reached 200 yesterday, with 153 in Lincolnshire and 47 in northern Lincolnshire.

Across the UK, 33,718 people have tested positive for the virus while 2,921 have died.