Tourism bosses, emergency officials and public figures from both countries spoke with one voice and the message was loud and clear: “Don’t come – how dare you put yourself before the lives of others . “
The striking message despite the loss of millions of tourism revenues is that the beaches and beautiful landscapes will still be there after the pandemic – but some of our loved ones cannot.
It comes after CornwallLive, DevonLive and PlymouthLive launched the #comebacklater campaign calling on people not to travel to both counties until they are sure they are. Our campaign has already won the support of MPs, tourism organizations and the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner.
Pressure is mounting now as the number of lives lost in the two countries continues to rise.
It follows a warning to the nation from the force chief, Constable Shaun Sawyer, who told BBC Breakfast on Saturday that people should test their own conscience if they put their lives at risk by going to Devon and Cornwall after learning that fines could be imposed for non-essential travel.
“If a £ 60 bill makes you do something and 684 people who died yesterday didn’t do it, then I think you must be wondering if you realized the seriousness and importance of where we are “, he said.
And Secretary of State Matt Hancock says, “Even in hot weather, you have to stay home, it’s not a request, it’s instruction. “
Malcolm Bell, the The CEO of Visit Cornwall said it would cost the economy £ 800 million, but if people observe the lockdown strictly now, there is hope that the main summer season can be saved.
Speaking in the print headline of our sister The Western Morning News today, he warns, “This crisis has cost and will cost lives and will cost much more if people continue to break the rules.
Mr. Bell adds unambiguously: “DON’T COME – HOW DO YOU DARE TO GET YOURSELF BEFORE THE LIFE OF OTHERS. “
“In our region, if we all work together, we could reopen in June, perhaps sooner,” he continues. “However, the cost to the region’s economy is estimated at around £ 800 million.
“If tourism did not work during the peak months, the financial implications would rise to billions of pounds. “
“I could never have imagined myself as the head of a tourist office. I would not only participate in the closure of all vacation homes and I should make public statements telling people not to come and even more recently, declare do not come.
“Nor could I imagine the current situation; the word pandemic that I associate with science fiction. There has already been a health crisis, the Spanish flu occurred at the turn of the last century. As a society, we have become complacent plagues in the past. and if such a thing happened again, it would be treated and controlled. As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we have participated in the process of fighting threats such as SARS and the Ebola virus.
“In the far southwest, it still doesn’t seem real. I wake up every morning and the world doesn’t look any different; the enemy and the threat cannot be seen. Looking at the news from other countries, it looks like an episode from a television. Science fiction program. I remember my mother telling me what it was like at the start of World War II in the fake war, when nothing seemed to change for a while.
“Having said that, I’m happy that the vast majority of us abide by the rules and with many others, I say a big thank you from me and everyone else in your community. But, to the small minority who are thinking of going on a trip outside, or worse yet, those who are thinking or planning to go down to Cornwall and Devon for a few days, I must shout DO NOT COME – HOW DARE YOU GO BEFORE LIFE OTHER.
“This crisis has cost and will cost lives and will cost much more if people continue to break the rules. It will also have economic and social impacts in the short, medium and long term that we still cannot calculate, let us understand. If people don’t follow the rules, the virus will spread faster and the peak will be stronger; more people will die, the economy will take longer to recover. In our region, if we all work together, we could reopen in June, perhaps sooner, but the cost to the region’s economy is estimated at around £ 800 million. If tourism does not work during peak months, the cost implications would reach billions of pounds, undoubtedly leading to bankruptcies and job losses, not only in tourism but also in the tourism sector. supply, business and professional services.
“I can only reiterate, if we follow all the rules, less lives can be lost, less pressure put on our incredible health and our main workers and can bring a date closer when it is sure to restart the economy of the tourism this summer; businesses and jobs will be saved and if that is not enough reason, we can all enjoy summer in this incredible part of the world. “
Some businesses refuse to serve people who are not local and signs have been erected in a Cornwall store that will only serve locals. Tintagel store employees say they will serve the people they recognize, but will ask everyone else to provide “proof” that they live in Cornwall.
Devon and Cornwall police urged potential visitors to #comebacklater and not to travel southwest during Easter holiday in light of clear government advice.
Police officers will stop and check drivers, but not delivered vehicles such as those working for highway services, utility distribution networks, and food and medical distribution.
Tips for slowing the coronavirus, protecting the NHS and ultimately saving lives are as follows:
- Stay at home
- Go out only for food, health or work reasons (but only if you cannot work at home)
- If you go out, stay 2 meters (6 feet) from other people at all times
- Wash your hands when you get home
- Do not meet other people, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you have no symptoms.
A press release said, “Devon and Cornwall police officers, all other blue light and health services, and key workers are doing incredible work in keeping the public safe, but we ask that you consider that the increase in the population of our region will place an unreasonable burden on them.
“The increase in the number of people in a given area will also make it more difficult to observe vital social distancing.
“Devon and Cornwall, our Force Zone which contains many popular beauty spots and beaches, will still be there when the coronavirus outbreak is contained, so please #comebacklater.”
Devon and Cornwall is naturally proud of its magnificent coasts, wide open spaces and gallons of fresh and prosperous air thanks to the millions of visitors who come to enjoy our part of the world each year.
However, the UK coronavirus epidemic has changed our daily lives as the government calls on the nation to stop all non-essential travel in an effort to stop the spread of the disease that has so tragically cost lives in the UK. United.
In the South West, not only do we have a proportion of older people living here, those who are among the most vulnerable to coronavirus, but we also have NHS trusts that are stretched to capacity without any additional pressure.
We want to help save lives and end the epidemic as soon as possible.
Therefore, we aim to spread the message of coming back as far and as widely as possible later through a campaign launched today – #comebacklater.
The public will see a highly visible police presence in both vehicles and foot patrols, proactively monitoring areas where people can be placed in danger by not following government advice on travel and social distancing.
Police and the commissioner of crime in one of the most visited regions of the country have supported calls to tourists and owners of second homes to move away over Easter and are considering making property available for response to the coronavirus.
The Devon and Cornwall police forces have more national visitors than any other in the United Kingdom and a high proportion of older people classified as vulnerable to the coronavirus (Covid-19).
Alison Hernandez, the police and crime commissioner of Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, also calls on anyone with empty property in the area to make it available to key workers.
“I am concerned about reports that people see Devon and Cornwall as good places to see the lockdown. This is not the case, people are safer in their main residences, where they are registered with medical offices and have support networks. 1.7 Residents of Devon and Cornwall will also be safer if people stay away. “
The only vacation homes legally allowed to stay open are those that house key workers, NHS staff, and for health and care purposes. The Carnmarth Hotel in Newquay is used to care for people who have been discharged from the hospital and who are not ready to return home.
The Cornwall Council has received complaints alleging that some vacation accommodation providers still have vacationers on their premises and operate illegally.
The Police and Crime Commissioner said, “I ask other accommodation providers or those with second homes to consider letting key workers such as NHS staff or the police stay in their homes. properties.
“The NHS or the police are being moved as part of the response to this crisis so that we can make good use of all the empty vacation properties.
“Once the restrictions are lifted, we will welcome visitors with open arms, but for now we urge you to stay away and come back later,” she added.
Councilor Julian German, Head of the Cornwall Council, said: “We understand that this epidemic and the essential restrictions that have had to be put in place will have significant impacts on businesses in the Cornish tourism and economy in broad sense, and we are here to provide help and advice to help businesses survive. ”
Councils from North Devon, Torbay and Devon County have all joined together to urge people to stay at home, stay safe and wait until the restrictions on Covid-19 are lifted before traveling to the county.
Guidelines for employees, employers and businesses on surviving the epidemic have been issued by the government and can be found here.
Accommodation providers wishing to offer their properties to key workers or victims of crime should contact their higher authority. Cornwall Council has specific advice regarding its “call for accommodation” which can be found here.
Before the Easter holidays, the Torbay Council and the English Riviera company BID call on all holiday accommodation providers, including rental agents and online booking platforms, to support the COVID-19 response by following the government shutdown orders.
Torbay Council Chief Cllr Steve Darling said, “It is up to all of us to play our part in fighting this virus, as well as in respecting the law, and it just means that not only all traditional tourist activities close to creative holidays, but also to people renting rooms and properties on online booking platforms, including Airbnb, which have grown rapidly in recent years. “