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Lockdown: Council leader says "Cornwall is not open to visitors"

Lockdown: Council leader says "Cornwall is not open to visitors"

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 5:59am 13th May 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

The leader of Cornwall Council has criticised the Government’s advice on easing restrictions during the coronavirus saying he is “hugely disappointed”.

Julian German issued his comments in his daily briefing that he sends out to councillors.

He said: “Like many of you, I have been left concerned over a lack of clarity with the new messaging from Westminster regarding the lockdown. The guidance leads people to believe they are now allowed to drive as far as they wish to go for a walk, or to go sunbathing. The risk for us is that people will see this as a green light for visitors to head to Cornwall, and that we will now see a large influx of tourists heading over the Tamar.

“This is not the message we are telling people and potential visitors. Public health is still the priority, and as far as we are concerned, Cornwall is not open to visitors. Our message will continue to be come back later. This has been reiterated by Malcolm Bell of Visit Cornwall.

“I find it amazing that the Government is telling people they cannot see their close family members due to the risk of spreading the virus, but is also telling them they are fine to drive hundreds of miles for a day out.

“I am hugely disappointed to see the Government make such a huge change to the rules without consultation with the regions, and will be urging our MPs to raise our concerns with their Government colleagues.

“There are further concerns over the clarity of messaging in the Government’s 50 page document they released today, Our Plan to Rebuild. We will take the time now to go through the document in detail, and I will update you on any areas which may have a direct effect on Cornwall.”

The Prime Minister replied to a question in the House of Commons yesterday saying that the changes did not mean that people could go to their second homes or on holiday.
He said: “We don’t want to see people – let me repeat – we don’t want to see people travelling to another home for a holiday or a second home.
“That is not what this is about. This is about allowing people the pleasure and exercise of going to national parks and places of outstanding natural beauty and taking advantage of the open air.”

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