Tourists told not to visit Cornwall without negative Covid tests as rate soars

Cornwall: Kim Conchie says there is a 'perfect storm' in county

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Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said visitors should aim to “treble their efforts as much as possible” with the hands, face, space guidance and try to remain outdoors. His warning comes amid a spike in cases in Cornwall, which has happened after visitors flocked to the county for their summer holidays.

And new figures show Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly now have the highest rate of Covid-19 cases in England. A total of 4,430 new cases were recorded across the area in the seven days to August 20: the equivalent of 769.7 cases per 100,000 people.

Speaking to Cornwall Live, Mr Bell said: “We are asking people not to come unless they have booked ahead and request they take a lateral flow test before, during and after (their) stay so that (people) can be safe and help us to manage the current spike.

“There is concern and most local residents will be happier in a week or so, when the peak season is over and an older demographic visits as there are too many occurrences of overcrowding in honey pots.

“We are asking visitors to look at visiting other parts of Cornwall.

“We have over 300 beaches and lovely parts that can cope with visitors.”

Health officials said this week they investigated 4,700 cases of coronavirus, which are suspected to be linked to the Boardmasters Festival, which took place nearly two weeks ago in Newquay.

Public Health England’s latest figures have worried business owners and councillors across Cornwall. 

Louis Gardner, who is Mayor of Newquay and a Conservative councillor for Newquay Central & Pentire, said: “We’re seeing a spike in Cornwall because we’ve got the highest number of visitors we’ve ever had.

“Our accommodation is at 100 per cent capacity, our hospitality venues are full, there’s no social distance in place, but I think those factors all added in all together are having an effect.

“It’s a perfect storm.”

A spokesperson for Boardmasters said the festival used the NHS Covid Pass app as a condition of entry to the festival or urged people to show proof of a negative test before entering and asked people to test themselves during the five-day event.

They added that more than 450 people tested positive and left the festival early or did not go in.

“No event is able to eliminate risk entirely and the latest Test & Trace data includes reported infections among the 76,000 people who visited the festival or related activities at Fistral Beach, in Newquay and the wider area during the week of Boardmasters,” they said.

“We will continue to work with our public health partners to understand the extent to which attendance at the festival has contributed to the figures.”

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