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Police and council in Cornwall warns action will be taken to those flouting coronavirus rules over Easter weekend

Police and council in Cornwall warns action will be taken to those flouting coronavirus rules over Easter weekend

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 8:01am 10th April 2020.

Devon and Cornwall Police and Cornwall Council say it will be enforcing coronavirus restrictions as it prepares for the Easter weekend. 

The Gold Commander for Devon & Cornwall says he wants to make the message very clear that people should stay home and not travel unless it is essential over the bank holiday weekend. 

"My officers will continue to be visible in our towns and cities, and we will police the roads.

"We understand that people may have second homes in Devon or Cornwall but we urge you not to travel to them.

Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, campsites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.

"People must remain in their primary residence."

Assistant Chief Constable Glen Mayhew, The Gold Commander for Devon & Cornwall

The Police Commander for Cornwall is warning that those who are found holidaying in the Duchy will be in breach of the restrictions and can expect a fine to be issued. 

“Our officers will be patrolling this weekend, firstly on the M5 and A30 in an attempt to prevent visitors from entering the force area, and then locally to enforce the restrictions.

"We will do so in a fair and balanced manner, but travelling down to the West Country is a serious breach of these restrictions and those doing so can expect to receive a fine.”

Ch. Supt. Ian Drummond-Smith, the Police Commander for Cornwall

If you are unsure of the latest coronavirus guidelines, you can find information on the Government website.

Cornwall Council has also said it will be keeping a close eye on those with holiday lets after a few were caught flouting the rules over the weekend.

Ahead of the Easter holiday, the Council’s enforcement team says it has written to all holiday accommodation owners, letting agents and online booking platforms in Cornwall who are not exempt to the COVID-19 orders to ask for their cooperation in complying with the orders.

The new legislation requires any person responsible for running a business providing holiday accommodation, whether in a hotel, hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartment, home, cottage or bungalow, campsite, caravan park or boarding house, to cease trading during the emergency period.

The Government’s controls are expected to remain in place until the regulations are reviewed by the Secretary of State and a direction issued to end them.

In its letter to accommodation providers, Cornwall Council outlines the new legal requirements and where businesses can get further advice.

It also warns that businesses can face enforcement action if they flout the orders.

“We are calling on and trust that our holiday accommodation providers in Cornwall will do the right thing and ensure compliance with this requirement which has been introduced to protect the health of our population, NHS and other critical services at this time.

 “We understand that this legislation may have serious financial impacts upon businesses so please read the guidance to understand how you can access the financial help you need.”

Rob Nolan, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for environment and public protection

“It’s up to all of us to play our part in fighting this virus, as well as obeying the law, and this simply means that not only should all the traditional tourism business be closed to holidaymakers, but also people letting out rooms and properties on the online booking platforms that have grown rapidly over the last few years.”

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall

There are a number of exemptions which allow holiday accommodation businesses to remain open, including where they provide services to:

  • People who live there permanently or because their primary residence is unavailable.
  • Critical workers and non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence during this period.
  • People who are unable to move into a new home due to the current restrictions.
  • Homeless and other vulnerable people such as those who cannot safely stay in their home, through arrangements with local authorities and other public bodies.
  • Those attending a funeral.
  • Hosting of blood donation sessions.
  • Also, holiday accommodation can remain open for any other purpose requested by the Secretary of State or Local Authority.

A current list of exemptions can be found on the Government's website.

Equally, if you believe that holiday accommodation might not be complying with the new regulations, you can contact Cornwall Council at covid19@cornwall.gov.uk 

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