Tourist attractions, museums, activity companies and nature sites around Torbay are to provide dedicated opening times and tours for the more vulnerable members of the local community.

Reach Outdoors in GoodringtonReach Outdoors in Goodrington

As Covid-19 lockdown restrictions continue to ease, the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark has been working with its partners to provide the dedicated opening times and tours.

Around 5,800 Torbay residents have been shielding since March, and from Monday they have been able to meet in a group of up to six people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing.

They no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of their household and, in line with the wider guidance for single-adult householders, are able to form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.

The Geopark initiative joins up with the #ResponsibleRiviera campaign launched by the English Riviera BID Company, which is helping local businesses adapt to a new way of working as part of their Covid-19 recovery plans.

Kents Cavern in TorquayKents Cavern in Torquay

Kents Cavern, Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust and Reach Outdoors are among the organisations 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 on 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 of the English Riviera BID Company, said “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 at 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.”