Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update
Published: 17 March 2020
Staff are working tirelessly to provide help and support to everyone effected by the coronavirus, Council Leader Phil Bialyk has assured the public.
On Tuesday the Council announced in light of the growing concerns around the spread of the virus Covid-19 several key events planned in the Exeter have been cancelled.
This summer’s Exeter Festival in Northernhay Gardens and the planned VE Day celebrations in the city centre have been cancelled.
Anyone who has bought tickets for Exeter Festival will be issued with a full refund their payment card in the next seven days.
The Net Zero Exeter Mobilisation Summit due to take place at Exeter City Football Club later this month has been postponed.
The Council has set up a Community Facebook group called Exeter Coronavirus Updates to share information and help to promote the community response to the virus. More than 3,000 people joined the group in the first 24 hours.
More details on how individuals may be support the most vulnerable will be released shortly.
The Council is now focussing on how best to prioritise its critical services.
Council Leader Phil Bialyk said: “It is a worrying time for everyone in Exeter at the moment, and my job now is to worry about the citizens of Exeter, our people and their health and wellbeing. The team of directors and all of the staff the City Council are now preparing to ensure that we can continue to provide our services and we are putting resilience plans in place.
Cllr Bialyk praised the response of residents offering their services to those in need.
He said: “I’m impressed with the amount of people who want to help – they are genuine and sincere and work is ongoing now to coordinate this. Many of us will be calling on neighbours and looking out for the vulnerable – that’s the kind of community spirit that we need to have at the moment.”
On Monday evening, in light of the latest Government advice, the Council took the step of closing all its visitor attractions with immediate effect.
The following will remain closed until further notice:
- Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM)
- Exeter’s Underground Passages
- Exeter Corn Exchange
- Exeter Visitor Information & Tickets
- Exeter’s historic Guildhall
- Exeter Red Coats Guides
Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Climate and Culture, said: “We have decided to close these facilities in line with current government advice and to safeguard the public.
“In Exeter we value culture and the benefits that it brings to society but right now public safety is our number one priority and we must take all necessary steps to protect the public.”
The Government recently announced that local elections have been suspended for a year, and a number of non-decision making council committee meetings have also been cancelled.
The council’s website Exeter.gov.uk now has dedicated pages providing the latest information on how coronavirus if affecting life in Exeter.