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Tourism chief urges people to 'stay away' from Cornwall after government's lockdown announcement

Tourism chief urges people to 'stay away' from Cornwall after government's lockdown announcement

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 2:41pm 11th May 2020. (Updated at 5:30am 12th May 2020)

Cornwall's head of tourism, Malcolm Bell, says he does not want people to visit the Duchy as the UK slowly starts to make its way out of lockdown.

Malcolm Bell, who is the chief executive of Visit Cornwall, made the comments in response to the Prime Minister's televised address to the UK on Sunday evening.

Boris Johnson mapped out plans for people returning to work, schools partially re-opening and also said people would be allowed to travel by car with people from the same household for "unlimited outdoor exercise" from Wednesday onward.

Mr Bell said he would consider the plans in detail, but urged people not to take it as acceptable to return to the Duchy.

"Our guidance is wanting to protect people and protect the economy. I'm hoping there will be a limit to the lengths people can travel – something like 25 miles. We don’t want people driving long distances to Cornwall. We will work closely with the police and Cornwall Council."

             Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall

The tourism leader went on to say "With regards to summer tourism this year in Cornwall – one of the scenarios that fills us with dread is suddenly everything opens up all at the same time immediately and there's not enough accommodation for all the visitors coming down. The other nightmare scenario is Cornwall being closed all summer."

"What we would like to see is a managed phased opening starting maybe late June or early July, in a very careful way, so we can protect the people of Cornwall whilst slowly and progressively opening up businesses –I think that would be the responsible thing to do, not just for Cornwall but for the guests as well, as well as our businesses".

"My concern about holiday makers returning to Cornwall – is about the short term not the long term - and for business about how they are to survive, now. In the medium and long term I don’t have any worries – our problem is an economic crisis, now, today."

"We need to open not a day too early or a day too late. As things stand, there’s no justification for coming to Cornwall for a day trip from any other part of the country right now". 

             Malcolm Bell, Visit Cornwall

To combat people flouting the new rules, Mr Johnson also announced on Sunday that police will be able to issue stronger fines to those breaking the rules.

Fines will rise from £60 to £100 and repeat offenders will see the fine doubled for each subsequent breach to a maximum of £3,200.

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