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Published on Monday, May 11, 2020

UK tourist areas repeat 'stay away' message



UK tourist hot spots say now is still not the time to visit, amid fears Sunday's TV address by Boris Johnson will encourage people to travel further afield.





The PM briefly mapped out plans for people returning to work, schools partially re-opening and more outside exercise. He said that,  from Wednesday, the public would be allowed to 'drive to other destinations' and could travel by car for 'unlimited outdoor exercise' and sit in parks.


Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said people were free to move around within England.


He said: "You can drive as far as you want to, for example, to go and walk in a particular area that you are fond of, as long as you maintain the social distancing."


Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell told CornwallLive: "I don't think it [Mr Johnson's speech] was too helpful - it added more confusion rather than clarity.


"The bottom line though is that we don't want people turning up in Cornwall on Wednesday.


"He said from Wednesday onwards so I am hoping this 50-page document will spell out the limitations on that. I'd hope it would say no travelling of more than 10 miles something along those lines."


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.


"I would hope that the increased police powers and fines will act as stronger deterrent to prevention long or unjustifiable journeys to places like Cornwall," he added.


"I am also hoping there will be further limitations mapped out in this document."


Bell has backed CornwallLive and DevonLive's #ComeBackLater campaign, aimed at making sure tourists stay away from Devon and Cornwall until it is safe for the region to welcome them back with open arms.


The newspaper group said: "We want to help saves lives and help bring an end to the outbreak as soon as we possibly can.


"Therefore we are aiming to spread the message of come back later as far and as wide as possible through a campaign launching today - #comebacklater."


There are also fears other regions, such as the Lake District, will be swamped with tourists.


The tourism board of Cumbria tweeted: "We are shocked by the timing and short notice of tonight's announcement.


"We are awaiting further details but the safety of residents must come first. For now, tourism businesses in Cumbria remain closed and we urge everyone to continue to #StayHome."


In a separate Twitter post, the national park's chief executive Richard Leafe, wrote: "This could be very difficult for the communities of the Lake District and Cumbria.


"Please don't rush to visit us."


Former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, also responded to the announcement tweeting: "The Prime Minister said we could now drive for exercise but not how far.


"He said that hospitality businesses would remain closed until July but didn't mention anything about travelling to second homes.


"Local communities here in the Lake District will be rightly concerned about this lack of clarity and the impact it could have on local residents - especially with Snowdonia so clearly off limits to people in Manchester and Liverpool.


"We will welcome you all back to the Lakes with open arms when this is over but sadly people are still dying so please don't rush back to the Lake District yet."


Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford said: "Our advice has not changed in Wales. Wherever you can, you should stay at home.


"If you need to leave home for work, exercise or shopping, you should stay local and stay alert.


"Coronavirus has not gone away"


Image: St Ives, Cornwall, from Pixabay

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