Government designates Devon as an ‘enhanced response area’

    The government has designated Devon, Cornwall, Plymouth, Torbay and the Isles of Scilly, an ‘enhanced response area’, in response to high case rates of coronavirus. It means additional support will be available from the government, to those areas.

    Public Health Devon has welcomed the escalation and its Director of Public Health, Steve Brown, said:

    “We welcome the announcement that Devon and the South West is designated as an enhanced response area.

    “This means that the government has prioritised the ‘far’ South West for additional support to reduce case rates. It doesn’t mean another local lockdown, but it does mean that authorities across the south west have more flexibility to introduce additional public health measures if considered necessary, to those in other parts of the country.

    “Case rates here in Devon are very high, especially in our late teens and younger adults, which is to be expected since the removal of restrictions, the opening up of opportunities to socialise, and our popularity as a major visitor destination.

    “The availability of testing in the county is good, and the vaccination take up across all of the priority groups has been very high.

    “However, the impact of coronavirus is being felt hard across the entire health and social care system, with those services struggling to cope with demand and workforce pressures.

    “We are working across boundaries with our neighbouring authorities, Public Health England and NHS Devon partners, to monitor data, respond to outbreaks, and provide public health guidance to our residents.

    “We will now continue to work with them and the government to see what else can be done to reduce Devon’s case rate.

    “In the meantime, we ask all Devon residents and visitors to the county to take extra caution.”

    Public Health Devon is urging people to:

    • Limit your social contacts to stop the virus spreading
    • meet others outside, because that’s safer than meeting inside
    • continue to wear face coverings when indoors in public places
    • wash your hands properly and regularly
    • have the jab if you are an adult and haven’t yet had it. Please have both doses as soon as you can. If you’re aged 16 to 18, please take up the vaccination when offered to you
    • self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace
    • self-isolate and arranging a PCR test if you show any symptoms of having the virus – the high temperature, new and continuous cough, or change of your usual sense of taste or smell

    And to visitors, they have published this guidance:

    Before you leave:

    • If you show any symptoms of having coronavirus, please self-isolate at home and arrange a PCR test. If that is positive, please postpone your visit
    • If you show no symptoms of having coronavirus, please use a lateral flow test before you leave to determine whether you are likely to be carrying the virus. If that is positive, please self-isolate and arrange a PCR test. Please do not travel if your PCR test is positive
    • Please follow the latest rules regarding self-isolating, and please don’t travel to Devon is you are required to be self-isolating – we’d love to see you, just later.
    • If you are eligible for a vaccination and haven’t yet had one, please take it up when offered

    There are steps we can all take to reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, so while you’re visiting:

    • Please follow the public health guidance, including keeping a distance from others where possible; wearing a face covering when indoors in crowded public places; and washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitiser
    • Please limit your social contacts to stop the virus spreading, and if you are meeting others, try to do so outside because it’s safer than meeting inside
    • If you develop symptoms while you’re away, please self-isolate and arrange a PCR test, and remain self-isolating until you get the result. If that’s positive, it is important to travel safely to a place where you can self-isolate
    • If you’re here for a while and you show no symptoms of having coronavirus, please routinely use a lateral flow tests to determine whether you are likely to be carrying the virus. There are many places to access tests on our website, and you can take the tests with you on your visit

    When you get home:

    • If you develop symptoms on your return, please self-isolate and arrange a PCR test. If that’s positive, remain self-isolating for the full duration.

    Devon, like many popular UK visitor destinations, is seeing case rates far higher than national averages. Positive cases in the county are predominantly in the 15 to 19 year old, mostly as yet unvaccinated population. Cases are not in any particular setting or location, and it’s felt by public health experts that socialisation is the main driver for the increase.

    More from Devon News

    • Bus staff may strike

      Stagecoach bus staff are reportedly to go on strike next month. The strike could last for one day and industrial action is said to have been called as a request for more pay.

    • Weekly covid update (Friday)

      Covid figures continue to fall throughout most of Devon and remain well below the national average. In the week up to Sunday 19 September, the average rate of infection across all of Devon’s councils was 265 per 100,000 people, down from 295 the week before.

    • School covid policy ‘confusing’

      The current policy on dealing with covid in schools is “rather confusing” according to Devon’s public health director, who has asked for a review amid rising cases.

    • Universal credit impact

      The end of the temporary £20 a week uplift in universal credit payments is expected to affect 30,000 households in Devon.

    • Covid enhanced response area

      Devon’s director of public health says there is unlikely to be an extension to the current covid enhanced response area for Devon and Cornwall which ends next week.

    • Proposals to regenerate a brownfield site in Newton Abbot have been approved by councillors.

      Proposals to regenerate a brownfield site in Newton Abbot have been approved by councillors. The land at Bradley Lane, near the centre of the town, was identified and bought up by Teignbridge District Council in 2010 as a site where regeneration could take place, reportedly including up to 170 homes.

    • Solar Farm Refused Again but Councillors may Face Appeal

      Proposals for a huge solar farm in Mid Devon have again been rejected by councillors. After previously voting in July that they were ‘minded to refuse’ the scheme at Langford near Cullompton, members of the district council’s planning committee rubber-stamped their decision by seven votes to four at this week’s meeting. However, the committee was warned that the applicant may lodge an appeal against the decision.

    • DEVON/TORBAY/PLYMOUTH: Covid weekly update (Tuesday)

      Covid cases continue to fall across much of Devon, with Torridge’s case rate now the only one above the national average. Government figures for the week to Thursday 16 September show infections dropped by over a quarter in each of the Devon County Council, Torbay and Plymouth areas. Devon’s number of cases per 100,000 people now stands at 217, while the numbers in Torquay and Plymouth are 291 and 264. In comparison, the UK average is now 297.


    • Ben Clark

      7:00am - 10:00am

      Breakfast Show Sponsored by Home Instead

    • Ian Williams

      10:00am - 1:00pm

      Daytime Show Sponsored by Rose Lodge

    • Non Stop Pop

      1:00pm - 3:00pm

      Sponsored by The Clinton Arms

    Tide Times

    Today's Weather

    • Exmouth

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 9°C

    • Sidmouth

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 11°C

    • Exeter

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 10°C

    • Dawlish

      Sunny intervals

      High: 14°C | Low: 12°C

    What's On

    • Exeter Canal Cruise

      Reminisce as you travel through time along the oldest working ship canal in Europe with a choice of departure from Exmouth or Exeter. Sailing through two working locks and the Countess Wear swing bridge, this cruise presents the perfect opportunity to explore the historic quayside of Exeter and enjoy a spot of lunch at one of the many independent eateries.

      at Exmouth Marina
    • Exmouth Country Market - 8.30 til 11.30am

      Cooperative market selling cakes, meals, savouries, preserves, eggs, plants, crafts, vegetables and fruit. All home made and locally produced

      at The Glenorchy Hall
    • Barn Dance

      Get your boots and checked shirts ready!! Spoken presents, Exmouth's very first Barn Dance incorporating Ceilidh Band & caller, finishing with Exmouth favourite Ian Boyd singing and entertaining you all night. The town centre of Exmouth will be home to a large marquee where a whole host of events will take place over the weekend of October 1st, and this year we are launching a fun night for the whole family. Licensed bar, hot dogs, games and foot stompin fun! 6pm - Amber Fire - Ceilidh band & caller 8.30pm - Ian Boyd. Exmouth's best, entertaining you all night

      at Marquee