People in highest risk areas with the most Covid-19 cases have been urged not to visit Devon this October half term.

All Devon’s council leaders have issued a joint statement calling anyone living in a Tier 3 area – the highest risk – to stay away from the county.

Those living under the highest level of restrictions in England are advised by the Government not to travel out of their areas except under exceptional circumstances.

However, it is ‘guidance’ and not law at this point, prompting fears some may just ignore it.

North Devon Council has launched a social media campaign urging accommodation providers to ‘keep North Devon safe’ and turn away anyone from a Tier 3 area.

Areas currently under Tier 3 are Liverpool, Lancashire and Greater Manchester.

County council leader John Hart said: “I urge everyone who is thinking of going away or even travelling within the area to think carefully about where they might be going and to continue to follow the rules.

“Equally, we are asking anyone thinking of coming into the region to consider the potential impact of their visit and to respect and help protect our local communities.

“The number of coronavirus cases here is rising but still much lower than most of the rest of the country and we want to keep it that way.

“So now is the time to be extra careful and extra vigilant.

“That is why we are calling on anyone currently in a high-risk area to follow national guidance, and to stay away for now.

“And if people do travel here from other areas then we urge them to be extra careful and follow all the extra rules that may relate to their own local area.”

South West councils have launched a joint social media campaign via the South West Local Resilience Forum to target visitors, reminding them to keep following the basic rules – space, face and hands.