Islanders will be able to continue to walk their dogs off the lead and ride horses on the beaches, at any time of the day, until the States debate a proposition on 12 May.
The Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Steve Pallett, will, in agreement with the Council of Ministers, lodge legislation to temporarily extend the period that dogs without a lead and horses can be on beaches, until Stay at Home restrictions are lifted.
The draft legislation, if adopted by the States Assembly on 12 May, will amend the Policing of Beaches (Jersey) Regulations 1959 which states that dogs must remain on leads between 10.30am and 6.00pm during the period of 1 May and 30 September. An online petition calling for an extension of these winter hours for dog walkers and horse riders received over 1,300 signatures, requiring a Ministerial response.
The Attorney General, Mark Temple QC, has said he won’t pursue offences under the law from 1 May until the States consider the proposal on the 12 May.
The measure will provide for greater flexibility and address concerns that restricted hours could result in larger numbers of people using beaches during the early morning and evening, making it harder for them to comply with social distancing guidance.
The Assistant Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Steve Pallett said: ‘I am hopeful that the States Assembly will agree that whilst the Stay at Home restrictions are in place we should allow people with dogs and horses to use the beaches throughout the day. At the point at which the Stay at Home restrictions are lifted, the restrictions on dogs and horses will revert to normal.
‘As the Assembly is not able to debate this matter until 12 May, I have sought assurance from the Attorney General that people walking dogs without a lead, or riding horses on a beach, between 1 May and 12 May will not be prosecuted.
‘It is important for the physical and mental well-being of Islanders to be able to get out in the fresh air and enjoy our glorious beaches.’