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Cornish MP says tourists are 'putting lives at risk'

Cornish MP says tourists are 'putting lives at risk'

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 11:04am 23rd March 2020. (Updated at 11:34am 23rd March 2020)

A Cornish MP says tourists are risking the lives of those living in Cornwall amid the coronavirus crisis. 

Steve Double, MP for Newquay and St Austell gave the stark message following reports of people flocking to their holiday homes and visiting the Duchy over the weekend. 

Last Friday (20th March), Cornwall Council, Visit Cornwall and the LEP released a joint statement asking for tourists to stay away. 

A Cornish man as started a petition calling for all tourist travel across the UK to be suspended.

Speaking on Sky News, he says the Government's message of Stay home, Protect the NHS, Save lives is very much the same message from Cornwall. 

"Please do not travel to Cornwall. We do not want the spread this virus any further. We do not want our NHS in Cornwall to be put under any undue pressure by tourists coming here and we want to save the lives of people in Cornwall and if you travel here...You are putting the lives of people in Cornwall at risk."

Steve Double, MP for Newquay and St Austell

He reiterated the Government's plan during this time for people to stay at home and not undertake any non-essential travel. The MP made clear that a holiday is not regarded as essential travel and feels that the Government needs to send a strong message to tourists to say that it should not be done. 

Since the Prime Minister announced that schools were to close on Friday 20th March, he reported that there was an influx of bookings to holiday parks and those wanting to escape from the city. 

"I perfectly understand why people may want to get away from some of the cities where, perhaps, they feel they will be more vulnerable.

"Here in Cornwall, we have very limited resources, our NHS is already under great pressure and local people here are genuinely very, very concerned about the impact this will have, both on our NHS and also on our supermarkets which are being emptied rapidly everyday. 

"The more people that are coming here and putting pressure on the supermarkets, really isn't going to help the local people." 

Steve Double, MP

Many hotels and businesses have complied with the Government's advice and closed down to deter people travelling to the county, according to the MP. On behalf of himself and Cornwall Council, he made a plea to hotel and park owners who are still open for business. 

"This is primarily a medical emergency and we have to prioritise keeping people safe and well and saving lives and the right thing to do is to shut your hotel or holiday park... for the sake of the people in Cornwall." 

Steve Double, MP

To keep up-to-date with the latest information in Cornwall surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, visit the Pirate FM Super Blog here.

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