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Get a Covid test BEFORE you go to Cornwall as hospitals fill up, tourism bosses warn

Tourist bosses are warning holidaymakers to get tested for Covid before heading to Cornwall as hospitals fill up and cases in resorts rise.

The regional council is also asking people to buy and pack Covid test kits before traveling so they can use them regularly while there.

The latest statistics show that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have 383 cases per 100,000 people, below the UK figure of 525.

But the number of cases in the province is the highest to date, with more than 2,000 cases recorded between July 10 and July 16 — up from the previous record of 1,997.

Visit Cornwall’s chief executive asks visitors to view this holiday season as a ‘summer of understanding’, while the council asks visitors to ‘respect the local communities in holiday hotspots’.

Cornwall Council is also asking people to buy and pack Covid test kits before traveling so they can use them regularly while there (Photo: the coastal town of St Ives)

Cornwall Council is also asking people to buy and pack Covid test kits before traveling so they can use them regularly while there (Photo: the coastal town of St Ives)

A busy Towan beach in Newquay, Cornwall, is pictured above as holidaymakers enjoy their summer holiday in the region today

A busy 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 number of cases is more than 800 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, where purple shows a number of cases between 400-799 and dark blue shows a number of cases from 200-399.  High cases can be seen in the tourist resorts of Padstow and Newquay

Dark purple regions show where the latest number of cases is more than 800 per 100,000 people over a seven-day period, where purple shows a number of cases between 400-799 and dark blue shows a number of cases from 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 to keep distance between people and wear a face covering if a company asks you to, as they protect both their staff and you’.

What are visitors recommended?

  • Test yourself and your family before you head out and while in Cornwall;
  • Get your shot when it’s offered and make it a priority before you go on holiday, ideally 14 days before your trip so you have the most protection;
  • Help local health services by bringing your medication and calling your own GP if necessary;
  • Call 111 instead of going to a hospital unless it is a life-threatening emergency as hospitals are operating at full capacity;
  • Be aware of the fear some may feel when they come out of limitations;
  • Respect those who choose to wear masks;
  • People with symptoms are advised to have a PCR test and for those without symptoms, a lateral flow test twice a week.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Public Health Director for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: ‘We are delighted that so many people want to come and spend time in our beautiful county, but we ask that you be respectful and help us control the virus.

‘Please enjoy your holiday and make great memories here as it is a special place – but remember that our local communities will have to live with the consequences as the number of cases increases.

“Companies may still have fewer members in a venue or ask you to wear a face covering in small, enclosed spaces. And we also ask you to wear face-covering clothing on our public transport.’

Malcolm Bell, Chief Executive of Visit Cornwall, added: ‘We ask and hope that everyone on a day trip in Cornwall and the wider region, as well as our long-term visitors, see this holiday season as a ‘Summer of Understanding..’

“We all need to understand that the virus will have a great summer of infection if we allow it, by not following the guidelines.

“The virus will also create strains on our public and health services, as well as problems when staff have to self-isolate in the hospitality industry, so please be on your guard and be patient and understanding when disruptions occur – no one is responsible, it’s just living in the ongoing pandemic crisis.

“Please have a great vacation or vacation, be on your guard and be patient and understanding.”

It follows a top expert who claimed last month that Covid infections in Cornwall were on the rise because of the thousands of Britons flocking to the coast for a six-month stay.

Visit Cornwall's chief executive Malcolm Bell (pictured above) asks visitors to think of this holiday season as a 'summer of understanding'

Visit Cornwall’s chief executive Malcolm Bell (pictured above) asks visitors to think of this holiday season as a ‘summer of understanding’

The number of cases in the province is the highest to date, with more than 2,000 cases recorded between July 10 and July 16 - an increase from the previous record of 1,997 (Photo: Fistral Beach in Newquay)

The number of cases in the province is the highest to date, with more than 2,000 cases recorded between July 10 and July 16 – an increase from the previous record of 1,997 (Photo: Fistral Beach in Newquay)

Professor Tim Spector, who leads the country’s largest study of symptoms, suggested that No10’s strict rules on foreign travel had led to more mixing and dispersal in the coastal region.

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 – an increase of 60.7 in the previous seven-day period.

Professor Spector said Cornwall’s contamination rates could also be due to the three-day G7 summit earlier this month, where crowds gathered to welcome the leaders of the world’s richest countries.

He called on vacationers to remain vigilant when enjoying staycations this summer to ensure outbreaks are kept under control.

Boris Johnson pictured at a press conference on the last day of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, on June 13

Boris Johnson pictured at a press conference on the last 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 the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives, Cornwall on June 11

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrive for the G7 meeting at the Carbis Bay Hotel in St Ives, Cornwall on June 11

Professor Spector said: ‘Data from this week show that rates in former hotspots such as Scotland and the north west of England are continuing to rise.

At the same time, the UK’s major holiday destinations such as Cornwall are emerging as new areas with rapidly increasing cases.

“I think this has to do with a number of factors, including the sudden influx of holidaymakers at the halfway point, as well as the recent G7 summit and a previously unexposed local population.

‘We must remain vigilant for these UK holiday destinations as the summer holidays approach, making sure we minimize outbreaks by following government guidelines.’

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