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Covid-19: Holiday resorts could be closed to contain outbreaks

Covid-19: Holiday resorts could be closed to contain outbreaks

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:25am 22nd June 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

Public health officials could advise hotels and holiday parks to close if they have an outbreak of coronavirus.

With the hospitality industry hoping that the government could allow businesses to reopen in July, public health officials have been drawing up plans to tackle local outbreaks if they occur.

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council’s public health consultant, said that if outbreaks occurred then officials would go into the places affected to help manage the outbreak and offer advice.

She said that the track and trace system which had been set up nationally would help to inform public health teams locally of any outbreaks.

"Track and trace have a system locally that if we do have outbreaks on sites like care homes, campsites or hotels we will be able to go in there and provide local support.

“That will be in addition to what people who test positive will get from the national team.

“They (public health officials) will help them (businesses) to get through the outbreak as quickly as possible and will work to manage that outbreak and how they can keep their business operating.”

She added: “We have a local response to contain as quickly as possible and reduce the impact on the local population.”

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council’s public health consultant

Hayle tourism beach

Dr Goldstein explained that this was not a new system and that it would be run under the same protocols that public health officials use to contain other diseases such as measles, mumps and meningitis.

“We often have to deal with outbreaks of infectious diseases like measles, mumps and meningitis,” she said. “We are quite used to deal with that and supporting the public health measures to contain the spread of diseases.

“We will use the same protocals in working with Covid-19.

“The national team will identify any outbreaks and they will give central guidance and monitor what is going on.

“We will go in as a local team to provide support and advice. If it is a hotel, for example, we would look at can they keep one wing open or do they have to contain the whole hotel.

“It is these local solutions for what is needed to contain the spread of the disease, that is what an outbreak team would go and provide support for.”

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council’s public health consultant

Dr Goldstein said that local authorities were still awaiting more guidance on local lockdowns and how those might operate or be enforced.

beach holiday tourism

Speaking on the easing of lockdown and tourists coming to Cornwall Dr Goldstein said that it was vital that people continued to follow guidelines around social distancing and hand hygiene.

She said: “It is exciting and a positive move to open up Cornwall to visitors and we look forward to the hospitality trade opening up.

“Throughout all of this it is fundamental that we don’t forget those public health messages. We don’t want any increased number of cases and we still want people to enjoy the wonderful facilities that we have got.

“People should stay two metres away from one another. They need to be really sensible when in shops, not touch everything in sight.

“They should use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently. Social distancing and hand hygiene are two of our greatest weapons against this virus.”

Dr Ruth Goldstein, Cornwall Council’s public health consultant

Dr Goldstein also advised that when people visit local places that they should avoid them if they are unable to follow social distancing guidelines.

“If you can’t stay two metres away from others then go somewhere else. Social distancing is absolutely key in everything that we do.”

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