Cornwall Covid spike 'not linked to G7 summit' say public health bosses

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The Government and local public health bosses say there is no evidence for any link between the growing number of Covid-19 cases in St Ives and Falmouth and the G7 summit.

Earlier this month world leaders, protesters and journalists gathered for one of the biggest events Cornwall has ever seen.

One week on from the end of the summit, Covid cases are soaring in the key locations.

The latest figures for St Ives show 760 cases per 100,000 people - much higher than the UK average of 89 per 100,000.

Cafe owner Kate Smith says she believes the G7 preparations brought more Covid cases to St Ives. Credit: ITV news

Many locals believe there must be a connection. Cafe shop owner Kate Smith said: "If you look at where the spikes have happened, it's in the places where everything was positioned for the G7. It's not rocket science.

"A lot of businesses have had to close because staff are so short, when they do get a ping, that's their entire team wiped out. They are closing and losing money at a time when they should be pulling it back. It's really tough for people in the town at the moment and people are really apprehensive."

Councillor Andrew George wants the Government to introduce 'surge testing' in Cornwall. Credit: ITV News

Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew George said: "There do seem to be very much higher Covid cases in St Ives and Falmouth than in any other holiday resort town around the country, and one has to draw the conclusion that the G7 had a role to play.

"This is a great disappointment and quite a knock for the community to take."

Mr George wants the Government to introduce surge testing and compensate businesses for lack of earnings.

Read more: Cornish towns given £65m to create G7 Summit ‘legacy’

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “We are aware of an increase in reported Covid cases in Cornwall, in line with increases in case numbers in many parts of the UK. Health authorities have identified this as being driven by local community transmission.

"We worked extensively with Public Health England and local health authorities ahead of and during the G7 summit.

"All attendees of the G7 Summit were tested before arriving in Cornwall and regularly throughout the summit.

"We are not aware of any cases of transmission from delegates to local residents but will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks."

A Cornwall Council spokesman said: "Covid-19 case numbers are rising in Cornwall – as they are across the country – due to the new and more transmissible Delta variant, which is spreading more readily among unvaccinated people in the 16-29 age range.

"There is no evidence to connect the rise in case numbers to the G7 summit."

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