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Please stay where you are – the plea from tourism, councils and the police

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Press release issued on behalf of the Devon and Cornwall Local Resilience Forum

Local government, tourism organisations including the National Parks and the police are working together to reinforce the message to stay at home and avoid tourist hot spots this coming weekend.

With sunny weather expected across most of the UK and temperatures climbing, the request is to think twice before going out, with tourist destinations out of bounds for the time being, and to try a virtual visit instead.

Backed by MPs, tourism bodies and other business, the call is to #ComeBackLater, recognising that tourism is the vital lifeblood for many rural economies. However, a sudden influx of tourists into relatively low- level infected areas could reverse the health gains and cause harm to the local community in addition to economic losses.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:

“As soon as it is safe to do so we will be encouraging people to book a great British holiday and show our support to the UK’s travel industry, but at the moment people need to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

Carl Lis OBE, Chair of National Parks England said:

“I would like to thank the majority of people who have listened and adhered to the Government instruction to stay at home and exercise locally – you are ‘Home Heroes’ helping to protect our NHS and saving lives. We look forward to welcoming you back when it is appropriate.”

Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health England for Cornwall said:

“I want to thank all the members of the public who have played their part in helping us to respond to this pandemic by staying at home to protect our health service. We ask you to do the same this bank holiday weekend. Your help can really make all the difference here.”

Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives, West Cornwall and Isles of Scilly said:

“The message to stay at home has helped to ensure that we keep the spread of this dreadful disease well below what was anticipated so please help us to keep it this way. We want to be open for business and welcome visitors to our treasured corner of the world but only when it is safe to do so. Then you will be more than welcome!”

Steve Double, MP for St Austell and Newquay said:

“Although there as signs we may be over the peak of this pandemic now is not the time to relax the lockdown and risk undoing all hard won progress we have made. Please continue to stay at home wherever possible and don’t travel to Cornwall in order to prevent a damaging second wave of infection that would set us all back. Cornwall will welcome you back with open arms when the time is right – but not this weekend.”