Holiday home owners in the south west urged to refuse bookings from Tier 3 tourists

a sign welcoming visitors to the county of cornwall in southwest England, UK. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Holiday home owners in Devon and Cornwall have been urged by local councils to refuse visitors from the north looking to escape Tier 3 restrictions over half term (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Holiday home owners in Devon and Cornwall have been urged to turn away visitors from the north looking to escape high risk coronavirus areas.

Tourism bosses have advised accommodation providers not to take any bookings from potential visitors living in Tier 3 regions.

They want to prevent people from areas such as South Yorkshire and Lancashire - and all those in the ‘very high risk’ of infection category - trying to get around lockdown by taking a staycation in the south west, where the infection rate has so far remained low.

The warning was issued by Cornwall Council and Visit Cornwall and follows an online post from a holiday let owner in Devon confirming they had already rejected a visitor from Barnsley, Yorkshire, as it is set to go into Tier 3 by the weekend, while urging others to follow their example.

Yachts And Boats Moored In The Marina At Torquay, Devon, England, Britain, Uk. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
A holiday home owner in Torbay, Devon, refused a booking from a Barnsley family who hoped to travel to the region for half term (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Malcolm Bell, the chief executive of Visit Cornwall, has now advised all businesses not to take bookings from anyone living in the affected areas.

He also urged people to cancel any planned visits from anyone already booked into accommodation or visiting friends and relatives, unless the stay is one of the exceptions in the government guidance.

He said: “We all need to play our part in limiting the spread and intensity of the COVID-19 crisis by reinforcing the government guidance for areas with high level and high restriction, but also that everyone in Cornwall must double our efforts with hand washing, the wearing of face coverings where required and especially social distancing.”

Councillor Julian German, leader of Cornwall Council, added: “Our first priority is to keep our residents safe during this pandemic and ensure that undue strain is not placed on our health service.

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“It is not easy, especially after such a difficult year, to ask any business to turn trade away, but these are exceptional circumstances and we are asking everyone to work with us to keep Cornwall safe.

“In Cornwall we are seeing relatively low numbers of infections, which is welcome. However, we know from other areas of the country how quickly the picture can change.”

German said he was “not willing to undo the fantastic work” of public health teams in keeping Cornwall residents safe, and urged people to follow the rules.

He added: “Do not travel to Cornwall if you live in a high-risk area. Help us to keep Cornwall safe.

“Our tourism industry is a vital part of the Cornish economy, and we all look forward to the day when we can welcome visitors back with no restrictions.

“However, while we remain in such a precarious position with regards to the pandemic, we must continue to protect our residents.”

The holiday let owner who spoke out was based in Torbay, Devon, which is currently in the lowest category of 'medium'.

In Barnsley, South Yorkshire, there are 335 coronavirus cases per 100,000, but in Torbay, Devon, it is just 76.

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