Coronavirus: "A national emergency shut-down of businesses and schools is not an excuse for a holiday"

A plea has been issued for people to avoid beaches and other holiday destinations in the UK to limit the spread of coronavirus.

By Claire Lewis
Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 22nd March 2020, 8:00 am

And the National Trust has closed its parks and gardens in fear of crowds visiting today on Mother's Day.

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

People are being urged to keep away from British holiday destinations during coronavirus outbreak

Cumbria Police said yesterday 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’.

“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.

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.”

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 per cent.