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Fears visitors could "flock" to Cornwall for day trips

Fears visitors could "flock" to Cornwall for day trips

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:28am 13th May 2020. (Updated at 9:52am 13th May 2020)

Visitors may come to Cornwall for a day trip but people are not allowed to stay at second homes or a holiday home.

That is the message from a Cornish MP as some of the lockdown measures are eased from Wednesday.

We can now exercise outside as much as we like, travel to the beach, sunbathe in parks and take day trips in the car.

But we must still respect the two metre social distancing guidelines, and the government's main message is still to stay at home as much as possible.

The leader of Cornwall Council says he fears there could be an "influx" on tourists coming over the Tamar Bridge, and says the Duchy is 'not open to visitors'.

MP for St Austell and Newquay, Steve Double, says people can visit but as attractions, shops and restaurants remain closed there is very little risk to people who live in Cornwall.

Hayle tourism beach

"One particular issue that has been repeatedly highlighted to me is that many people took last night’s statement to mean that people would now be visiting Cornwall as holiday makers and tourists again, with concern that this would lead to a second wave of virus infection.

"From the guidance it is clear that the SAGE advice is that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside.

"Because of this the Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to maintaining social distancing

"People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household.  

"So, essentially, scientific guidance says that the risk of catching the virus outside is low providing social distancing is kept.

"The guidance also says that people are free to drive ‘to outdoor open spaces’. This clearly does NOT include driving to your second home or holiday home.

"There may be some people who decide to drive to Cornwall for a day out. 

"But all the attractions, restaurants, pubs and café and shops remain close, as does holiday accommodation, campsites and hotels. So people can come to Cornwall, walk around, sit on a beach while maintaining social distancing and then drive home.

"There is very little risk if they do this."

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay

beach holiday tourism

Meantime members of the Cornwall Council Lib Dem Group fears the 'floodgates' will be opened as day trips to Cornwall are now allowed.

They are calling on the government to change its guidance on movement, amid concerns everything achieved by the lockdown so far could be 'undone'.

“Whilst I am pleased that the Government have ruled out staying at second homes, holiday and other temporary accommodation such as Airbnb, like many other people I am worried the new government guidelines will open the floodgates to day trippers visiting some of our popular tourist hotspots.

"Modern cars are fast and comfortable, and people can travel long distances in a day. The government needs to change their guidance to limit the distance people can travel or Cornwall could fast become a Covid-19 hotspot."

Rob Nolan, Lib Dem portfolio holder for Environment and Public Protection

"This is madness. The new government regulations mean that anyone within striking distance of Cornwall’s beaches can jump in the car and spend the day.  

"People will rightly be worried that the virus will be spread inadvertently by people who don’t even know they have it.

"This has to be stopped before it undoes everything achieved by the lockdown."

Florence MacDonald, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesperson for Camborne, Redruth and Hayle

More FAQs on the latest guidance can be found here.

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