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Cornwall's tourism boss urges people to stay at home

Cornwall's tourism boss urges people to stay at home

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 10:00am 12th April 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Cornwall’s tourism chief has called for the police to take a lower tolerance approach against people who are breaking government guidelines and travelling to Cornwall during the coronavirus outbreak.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, made the comments ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend when he said he wanted to make sure that everyone is told not to travel.

He said: “The message is out there – we want people to come back later, we want to see them again after this is over.

“The police should be saying to people that if they are out there there will be low tolerance now.

“It is getting past a joke now to see people still trying to travel and go away when they have been told that only essential travel is allowed.”

Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall

However Mr Bell said that while there had been a lot of comments made against second home owners there was some uncertainty about whether all were breaking the rules.

“We have had people saying about second home owners but we don’t know when these people arrived. If they came before March 23 then there is no issue with them using their homes. If they came after that it was after the guidelines were put in place.”

And in tackling issues around the use of second homes and holiday accommodation such as properties on platforms such as Airbnb Mr Bell has called on the Government to create a register of such properties.

“It would have been much easier to keep track of these and know which ones should not be operating if there was a register.

“Let’s not muck around and get this register up and running – obviously not right now but once this is over the Government should be getting it in place.

“It would have saved us all this rubbish.”

Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall

Mr Bell hoped people would listen to the messages being put out by tourism organisations, Cornwall Council, MPs and the police to discourage people from travelling over the Easter weekend.

He said: “This will be an Easter like nobody has observed, even during the war. People should be staying at home.

“That applies for people in Cornwall as well – their daily exercise should be within distance of their home, they should not be driving anywhere to exercise.

“Tomorrow will be the same as any other Friday.”

Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall

His comments come as Devon and Cornwall Police issued a statement saying: “Devon and Cornwall is closed.”

It adds: “Please do not visit us now. You will be welcomed back when the time is right and restrictions around travel and social distancing have been lifted.

“We will be policing our roads and other transport networks over the Easter weekend and ask you not to travel.

“If we stop vehicles and they are travelling to a second home we will ask them to return to their primary residence.

“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.

“We’ve been given additional powers to fine those refusing to follow Government instructions so please stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Devon and Cornwall Police

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