Cornwall Council urges holiday makers to stay away before key lockdown easing date

Cornwall Council says the easing of lockdown in late March still won't permit holidays. Credit: ITV News

Cornwall Council has issued a warning to people thinking of heading to the county on holiday before the lockdown rules change.

The authority says although the “stay at home” order is being replaced by a “minimise travel” instruction on March 29, holidays are still banned, and it will seek to take enforcement action where there are breaches.

During a weekly public briefing , the Cornwall councillor in charge of public protection said they don’t regard travelling to a second home as essential travel up to at least April 12.

But, domestic stays in self-contained accommodation and second homes are permitted under step one of the Government’s new coronavirus roadmap.

The council is hoping to prevent scenes like this in the county until restrictions appropriately allow for them to happen. Credit: ITV News

Cllr Rob Nolan, portfolio holder for environment and public protection at Cornwall Council said while clarification was needed on the new “minimise travel” guidance, the councils interpretation was that it was for essential travel only.

He said: “The stay-at-home rule ends on 29 March, but it does talk of people continuing to work from home and minimising journeys.

"While we’re waiting for clarification we understand it will be for essential travel so we don’t regard people coming down to a second home as essential travel.

“Travel was a police matter the last time and I expect it to be again, and any holiday accommodation open in that period, whether its self-catering will be for us to investigate, and we will investigate as they’re not allowed to be open until April 12.”

In the meeting, Cornwall Council leader Julian German said while they were optimistic about the Government’s roadmap, the dates weren’t concrete and may change as evidence change.

He said: “While Cornwall is seeing a fall in cases, for which we thank the public for their part, it’s still vitally important that we follow the rules. It’s too early to relax and let our guard down.

“The months ahead are much like driving from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Along the way, there might be diversions and there might be times we find ourselves going back on the road we’ve been on.”

Cornwall’s Director for Public Health, Rachel Wigglesworth shared a similar sentiment saying: “At each stage, they will examine the data to assess the impact of releasing the rules. It’s not absolute or set in stone. There will be four tests.

"One of these is vaccine rollout and how that progresses as well as evidence that the vaccine rollout is effective in reducing hospitals and death, another is infection rates at the time and making sure they don’t overwhelm hospitals and the final one is an assessment of the risk in any new variants that might appear and the impact they may have.”

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