Public urged to keep away from UK holiday destinations to limit Coronavirus spread - The Guide Liverpool

Public urged to keep away from UK holiday destinations to limit Coronavirus spread

22/03/2020

Would-be tourists are being urged to avoid beaches and other holiday destinations in the UK to limit the spread of coronavirus.

And the National Trust has closed its parks and gardens as of midnight on Saturday night, in fear of crowds attending them for Mother’s Day.

The moves come as tourist destinations and parks continued to draw crowds on Saturday, despite Government advice for people to avoid non-essential travel amid the worsening Covid-19 crisis.

Cumbria Police said on Saturday that the Lake District and other tourist attractions were experiencing an “influx” of visitors.

The force has now urged people from outside its county to keep away, saying the Lake District is “no longer conducting business as usual”, with pubs, restaurants and attractions advised to close.

“Whilst we are looking at all measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, I must urge people living outside the county not to visit,” Cumbria Police’s assistant chief constable Andrew Slattery said in a statement.

“A national emergency shut-down of businesses and schools is not an excuse for a holiday.”

West Wittering Beach in Chichester, south-east England, closed to the public on Saturday after the number of visitors “far exceeded” expectations, the estate owners said.

And the Visit Cornwall tourist board published a statement on Friday asking people to postpone their visits to a later date “despite the lack of clarity from Government” around the situation.

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The National Trust’s decision to close its parks and gardens followed the shuttering of houses, cafes and shops belonging to the charity earlier this week.

But following Boris Johnson’s announcement on Friday that all pubs, clubs and restaurants would be closed, the Trust has ramped up precautions.

Director general Hilary McGrady said: “Despite our desire to keep our outdoor spaces open, the health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers and visitors has to be our top priority.

“Having observed the numbers visiting our properties today I am no longer convinced we can maintain social distancing over Mother’s Day when numbers are likely to grow, and beyond.”

Ms McGrady added the Trust would be taking measures to ensure that people did not lose their connection with nature, and that sites of natural beauty remained open “virtually”.

“We know that people are likely to need space and fresh air in the coming weeks and months and we will do all we can to provide access wherever possible,” she said.

“Over the coming weeks our digital platforms – our website, social media feeds, podcasts and video – will become even more important, ensuring the places of nature, beauty and history that we care for on behalf of the nation can remain open for business virtually while we are temporarily closed.

“We will also be ramping up our efforts to help people connect with nature wherever they are and to find moments of joy in the world around them.”

On Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered pubs and restaurants across the country to close in a bid to impact the infection rate by reducing “unnecessary” social gatherings by 75%.

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