South Hams Council News Update

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26 June 2020

News About Our Services

Judy Pearce

We are urging caution and kindness from both residents and visitors as lockdown measures are eased.

As more facilities begin to reopen from Saturday July 4, some residents may feel anxious or concerned. We are working with Devon County Council and Public Health England on a COVID-19 Local Outbreak Management Plan in the event that cases do increase locally.

I want to reassure residents that easing the lockdown does not mean that we are letting our guard down here in the South Hams. We’ve been extremely fortunate to have one of the lowest number of confirmed cases in the UK, and I firmly believe that this is down to the good sense and community spirit of our residents.

I can understand that people are worried that if lockdown is released too quickly or there is a sudden surge in visitors that this could cause a second peak of infection. But at the same time many local businesses, especially those in tourism and leisure sectors, rely on visitors for their income.

Although visitor numbers rose over the two bank holiday weekends in May, there was no corresponding spike in infections afterwards, so if we all play our part in maintaining social distancing and good hygiene, we can keep our cases low moving forward.

Play areas

We are working to reopen our facilities, including playgrounds, from Saturday 4 July in line with Government guidelines. As the play equipment is handled by many children every day, we recommend that parents and guardians should clean children’s hands before and after using the equipment.

Many public toilets have already reopened in the South Hams, and we are continuing to reopen them on a phased basis. Again, please help to keep these facilities safe for everyone by cleaning your hands before and after use.

Lower ferry

The Dartmouth Lower Ferry will be operating two ferries from Monday 29 Jun, with the last ferry from Dartmouth leaving at 8.55 p.m.

The service will be increased if there is sufficient demand. Social distancing measures will still be in place, and customers should pay by card wherever possible.


The government announcement did not allow for leisure centres, gyms and swimming pools to reopen, but Fusion Leisure are working to reopen when Government guidance allows them to do so.

The offices at Follaton House will remain closed, as staff are working effectively and efficiently from home. The government guidance is still that people who can work from home should do so and we will continue to follow this guidance.


We have also made a number of public open spaces available for cafes and pubs to use for outside seating. These outside seating areas will be carefully monitored to ensure that they are kept clean and tidy, and that no anti-social behaviour results.

For more information, click here.

As life starts to return to normal here in the South Hams, I look forward to welcoming visitors back to the area.

However, I would urge everyone to please respect our beautiful environment, and be considerate of our residents. Make sure you take your litter home with you, and please play your part by following government guidance – wash your hands regularly, cover your nose and mouth when inside shops and stay 2m from other people wherever possible.

Above all - be kind, be considerate and be understanding. Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard to keep the South Hams safe during these difficult times.

Cllr Judy Pearce - Leader

Heat Alert - How to Stay Safe

Ice Lolly

Weather like this is something many people look forward to and go out and enjoy. But it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people.

It’s important to protect yourself and others from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.

Find out the top ways for staying safe here

Make sure you follow the COVID-19 social distancing guidance while looking out for others. Keep two metres apart, where possible, from people outside your household and make sure you wash your hands regularly.

Guidance for those shielding and for more vulnerable groups can be found here.

Online Home Education Resources

It's not easy educating your children at home, especially if you're trying to work at the same time. 

So these free resources could help make your life a bit easier. They are not designed to be used in place of work set by your child(ren)'s teacher, but could be used to support it.

Young child
Older school children

The resources have been assessed by subject experts to make sure they are high quality and appropriate for the students they are aimed at.

We hope they are useful for you.

Hospitality Sector Opens For Business


If you've been sporting a rapidly growing fringe or two-tone hair over recent months, then you'll be delighted to hear that hairdressers can reopen from Saturday 4 July, providing they've followed government safety measures to reopen safely.

Pubs and Restaurants

Also set to open, are pubs and restaurants with new guidance setting out a range of measures for pubs and restaurants to become Covid-19 secure, including:

  • table service, where possible, and one staff member per table
  • encouraging contactless ordering from tables where available
  • customers to use hand sanitiser or handwashing facilities on entry
  • clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene as people arrive on the premises, with signage and visual aids

Find out more here.