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‘It’s horrifying’: Cornwall tourist influx leaves some locals scared to go shopping

The Independent logo The Independent 3 days ago Tom Embury-Dennis
a group of people walking down the street © Provided by The Independent

Residents in Cornwall have expressed dismay at overcrowding due to an influx of domestic tourists on so-called staycation in the UK.

One local in Wadebridge said on Facebook that some tourists were not socially distancing because they “feel safe down here”.

“My shielding is paused from today but I’m too scared to go out,” she said. “Tried walking into town a couple of times but no social distancing at all. I was constantly doubling back, leaping out of the way and panicking just to keep my distance from the hoards. It’s horrifying.”

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Another, in St Ives, said she was “too scared” to go food shopping because of the crowds and had told her children not to visit the main shopping street or the harbour seafront.

This was “the general consensus among friends," holiday lettings manager Claire Harris told the BBC.

The county has long been a popular tourist destination but demand has soared in recent weeks due to current restrictions on travelling abroad, including the last-minute cancellation of thousands of trips to Spain.

Neighbouring Devon warned of an “unprecedented influx of visitors this weekend”, while Cornish resorts have dispatched street marshals to give social distancing advice at hotspots.

Visit Cornwall chief Malcolm Bell said campsites are fully-booked and anyone arriving without a booking was unlikely to find accommodation.

He told Cornwall Live that most people "are behaving themselves”, but that some, including tourists and locals, were not following the guidelines.

“It is based on age, with locals and visitors, with those below 30 in particular who are not following the guidelines,” he said. ”You see some groups and think ‘that must be a big family’ as you see six children or more of a similar age.”

Some Twitter users in Cornwall also expressed anger at the surge in holidaymakers.

Complaining about the rise in Covid-19 infection rates, one wrote: ”Thank you to the silly tourists who have invaded Cornwall.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Holidaymakers queue for the Padstow-rock ferry (Getty) © Provided by The Independent Holidaymakers queue for the Padstow-rock ferry (Getty)

“I’m now back in isolation,” she added.

Another user, directing her message at Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay Steve Double, said the crowds were “totally unjust”.

“We stuck to the rules and this is our reward,” she said.


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