Tourism bosses are warning holidaymakers to get tested for Covid before heading to Cornwall because hospitals are filling up and cases are rising in resorts.
The region’s council is also asking people to buy and pack Covid testing kits before travelling so they can regularly use them while there.
The latest statistics show Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have 383 cases per 100,000 people, below the England figure of 525.
But cases in the county are at their highest yet, with over 2,000 cases recorded between July 10 and July 16 – up from the previous record of 1,997.
Visit Cornwall’s chief executive is asking visitors to see this holiday season as a ‘summer of understanding’, while the council is asking visitors to ‘respect local communities in holiday hotspots.’
Cornwall Council is also asking people to buy and pack Covid testing kits before travelling so they can regularly use them while there (pictured: the seaside village of St Ives)
A crowded Towan Beach in Newquay, Cornwall, is pictured above as holidaymakers enjoy their summer holiday in the region today
Dark purple regions show where the latest case rate is more than 800 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, where purple shows a case rate of between 400-799 and dark blue shows a case rate of 200-399. High cases can be seen in the tourist resorts of Padstow and Newquay
Cornwall Council added that as tourist hotspots get busier, they are ‘asking everyone to try and keep a distance between people and wear a face covering if a business asks you to as they are protecting their staff as well as you.’
What are visitors being advised to do?
- Test yourself and your family before setting out and while you are in Cornwall;
- Get your jab when offered and make it a priority before you set out on holiday, ideally 14 days before your trip so you have the most protection;
- Help local health services by bringing your medication with you and calling your own GP if needed;
- Call 111 instead of turning up at a hospital, unless it’s a life-threatening emergency as hospitals are working at full capacity;
- Be aware of the anxiety some may be feeling as they emerge from restrictions;
- Respect those who choose to wear masks;
- People with symptoms advised to get a PCR test and for those without symptoms to have a lateral flow test twice a week.
Rachel Wigglesworth, director of public health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: ‘We’re glad that so many people want to come and spend time in our beautiful county, but we ask that you are respectful and help us to keep the virus under control.
‘Please enjoy your holiday and make wonderful memories here because it’s a special place – but remember that our local communities will have to live with the consequences if case numbers increase.
‘Businesses might still have reduced numbers inside a venue or ask you to wear a face- covering in small, enclosed spaces. And we ask that you also wear a face-covering using our public transport.’
Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, added: ‘We ask and hope that everyone on a day trip within Cornwall and the wider region, as well as our staying visitors we see this holiday season as a ‘Summer of Understanding..’
‘We all need to understand that the virus will have a great summer of spreading infection if we allow it to, by not sticking to the guidelines.
‘The virus will also cause strains on our public and health services, as well as problems when staff must self-isolate in hospitality, so please be on your guard and be patient and understanding when disruptions happen – no one is responsible it is just life in the ongoing pandemic crisis.
‘Please enjoy a great break or holiday, be on your guard and be patient and understanding.’
It follows a top expert claiming last month that Covid infections were rising in Cornwall because of the thousands of Britons who flocked to the coast for a staycation over half-term.
Visit Cornwall’s chief executive Malcolm Bell (pictured above) is asking visitors to see this holiday season as a ‘summer of understanding’
Cases in the county are at their highest yet, with over 2,000 cases recorded between July 10 and July 16 – up from the previous record of 1,997 (pictured: Fistral Beach in Newquay)
Professor Tim Spector, who runs the country’s largest symptom-tracking study, suggested No10’s strict foreign travel rules had led to increased mixing and spreading in the seaside county.
Government figures at the time showed that 147.8 people per 100,000 tested positive for the virus in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in the week leading up to June 18 — up from 60.7 in the previous seven-day spell.
Professor Spector said Cornwall’s climbing infection rates may also be due to the three-day G7 summit earlier this month, which saw crowds gather to welcome the leaders of world’s richest nations.
He called for holidaymakers to stay vigilant when enjoying staycations this summer to ensure outbreaks are kept under control.
Boris Johnson pictured taking part in a press conference on the final day of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on June 13
US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive for the G7 meeting at Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives, Cornwall, on June 11
Professor Spector said: ‘Data this week shows rates in former hotspots, such as Scotland and the North West of England, continuing to plateau.
‘At the same time, top UK holiday destinations like Cornwall are emerging as new areas with rapidly increasing cases.
‘I think this is down to a number of factors, including the sudden influx of holidaymakers over half term, as well as the recent G7 summit and a previously unexposed local population.
‘We need to remain vigilant of these UK holiday destinations as summer holidays approach, and ensure that we minimise outbreaks by following government guidelines.’