Travellers have been given the go ahead to stay at Irvine’s beach park after restrictions were lifted amid the COVID-19 crisis. 

The beach car park is not normally an authorised site for gypsy travellers. In the past North Ayrshire Council has asked groups staying overnight to move on. However local government organisation COSLA advised against eviction if possible in light of the current crisis. 

Irvine East SNP councillor Marie Burns said: “Gypsy Travellers are struggling through this pandemic like the rest of us. I support the Scottish Government guidelines and the actions the council is taking.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesman said: “Our Gypsy/Traveller coordinator is in regular contact with the families. In line with the guidelines set out by the Scottish Government and COSLA during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are not planning any action to remove the families at present.

“It was agreed that Gypsy/Travellers living at the roadside should be supported and that access to basic sanitation and services – toilets, water, bins and wash facilities should be arranged. We will monitor the situation.”