COUNCIL leaders across Morecambe Bay have joined forces to warn visitors against heading to the coast.

Barrow Borough Council, South Lakeland District Council and Lancaster City Council are presenting a united front ahead of the bank holiday weekend.

Despite the lifting of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with people now allowed to drive anywhere in the UK for exercise, the leaders of all three local authorities say now is not the time to take a trip to Morecambe Bay.

Although many cafes, businesses and attractions remain closed the beach is likely to attract crowds as the weather warms up. The message is also directed at locals.

SLDC Leader, Councillor Giles Archibald, said: “We have always been proud to share our outdoor spaces with others - but we must continue to ask people to stay local to their homes at the moment.

"While the rates of coronavirus infections and deaths are lessening, the danger to us all is still very real.

"We cannot stop people coming if they wish and we ask anybody who does travel here to behave with respect and care - respecting the communities being visited, respecting the risk of spreading the disease, and respecting the rules of observing social distancing and avoiding crowds, washing hands regularly, as well as no overnight stays, no camping and no visiting second homes.

“If you do decide to defer your visit until safer times, we thank you and look forward to giving you a hearty welcome when you do come to see us.”

Councillor Ann Thomson, leader of Barrow Borough Council, added: "We're incredibly proud of all that Barrow and Morecambe Bay have to offer and we understand people are keen to get out, enjoy some fresh air and to make the most of the bank holiday weekend.

"However, it's imperative we do everything possible to protect our communities from the further spread of this virus. The public can make a vital contribution to these efforts by postponing their visit for the time being.

"We'll look forward to welcoming people back as soon as we can."