THE leader of BCP Council said she was worried people would “flock” to Dorset after the government eased the lockdown restrictions.

Cllr Vikki Slade said it was too early to be clear on what the council will change now people are allowed unlimited exercise and can visit parks and beaches.

After Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday, people can now spend unlimited time outdoors, meet with one person for another household provided they are adhering to social distancing guidelines, use outdoor sport facilities and visit garden centres.

However, the council leader was concerned people would flock to the county’s beauty spots and asked them not to.

Cllr Slade said: “We are very concerned that the advice given will see people flock to Dorset and we are very worried we will see visitors who are coming down to use our outside space.

“We would like people to not come.

“Our message is we need our open spaces for local people to get out and exercise.

“What we really don’t need is lots of people day tripping from other places because they can travel further and bring the virus to a place which has done really well to keep infections low.”

At the time of writing, there were 444 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the BCP Council area.

“I am worried about the impact of the police to manage social distancing,” Cllr Slade continued.

“It has been straight forward up until now. Now you can go to the beach and sit for as long as you like so it becomes more and more difficult.

“I expect people will have interpreted the guidance differently, that is a real concern to manage that.”

On the government’s latest advice, Cllr Slade said: “I think it is a shame that is has become more confused but we do have to start our economy slowly and we are hoping the 60-page document is shared with councils so we can understand what it means to us.

“That is why we have not made any announcements today.

“My request is just because you can travel further, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you could have gone to the tip today (Monday), doesn’t mean you needed to.”

A spokesperson for Dorset Police added: “We will be working with the NPCC, Home Office and our partner agencies in Dorset to establish how this change in approach impacts our policing response and our key messages to our communities.

“We anticipate we will receive further information and clarity over the coming days and will of course update the people of Dorset as soon as we can. We would like to thank them for their patience and understanding during this time.”