Isles of Scilly untouched by coronavirus but fears of outbreak as tourists prepare to return

  • By ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

Few places have been cocooned from Covid-19 like the Isles of Scilly.

Fortunate not to have had a single recorded case, the 2,000 or so residents here have isolated by virtue of their remote location 30 miles west of Land’s End.

During lockdown, our visit is unusual and with hardly anyone travelling from the mainland since early March it is also a source of anxiety for some.

With tourists due to return in 10 days these are tense times balancing the priority of keeping people safe with the need for income.

Some 85% of the islands' economy is tourism related and even in a good year the budget is fragile.

The holiday season is short and halved by the pandemic and there is little time left for tourism this year so they have to adapt.

Hardly anyone has travelled from the mainland since early March. Credit: Rupert Evelyn

Visitors we’re assured will be warmly welcomed although those who have been here before will find it different.

Social distancing impacts everything from the plane reduced from 17 passengers to just eight to the inter-island ferry forced to limit how many they carry.

Fears over what happens if a visitor brings coronavirus are real and the council have had to make contingencies for it.

Medical evacuation will happen if required and a property is being kept vacant just in case.

Blessed with space, beautiful beaches and hopefully sunshine, keeping the islands Covid-19 free is critical but so too is the need to keep afloat and welcome with warmth those who have the money that underpins this place.

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