As COVID-19 lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark have been working with its partners to provide dedicated opening times and tours at tourist attractions, museums, activity companies and nature sites around Torbay for the more vulnerable members of the local community.

Around 5,800 local residents have been shielding since March, and from Monday 6 July will be able to; meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing; no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household; and in line with the wider guidance for single adult householders be able to form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

The initiative joins up with the Responsible Riviera campaign launched by the English Riviera BID Co, which is helping local businesses adapt to a new way of working as part of their COVID recovery plans.

Kents Cavern, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and Reach Outdoors are amongst the organisations who offering special open days and times and guidance for those that have been shielding and may be feeling anxious about getting out and about again.

Cllr Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, Torbay Council, said “Torbay Council fully supports this Geopark initiative and is delighted that so many of the partner sites have recognised this need for the more at risk members of the local community”. 

Carolyn Custerson, Chief Executive Officer, English Riviera BID Company Ltd, said “We are working hard with all of our businesses to reassure the public that we are a responsible tourist destination. Visitor safety is at the heart of our reopening plans, so this Geopark initiative ensures that as a destination we are open to all”.

Simon Sherbersky, Lead Officer, Torbay Community Development Trust, said “Torbay has a high number of clinically vulnerable people and residents over 70, so we are really pleased the Geopark has responded to this need and are bringing together such a range of opportunities for them to experience”.

You can find out more about the opportunities at individual English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark sites by visiting the English Riviera Geopark website or by following its social media channels @RivieraGeopark.

For the latest official shielding guidance visit the GOV.UK website.

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