Everyone in Cornwall is being asked to enjoy a safe, Covid free Easter by following the latest guidance from the local public health team.
After a recent increase in coronavirus cases in Cornwall, the message is that people should not mix indoors and only meet other people outside in groups of up to six, or groups of two households.
Cornwall is also joining with other authorities across the South West ahead of the Easter break to warn visitors against travelling to the region too soon before lockdown measures are due to be relaxed further on 12 April.
The Council is urging everyone to take extra care, to act responsibly and to show local communities' courtesy and respect at all times.
Rachel Wigglesworth, Director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “As lockdown eases and we are allowed to meet up outside with another household or in a group of six, we’re asking people to be sensible, only meet other people outdoors and move on if some of Cornwall’s most popular hotspots are busy this bank holiday weekend.”
“Whilst the number of Covid cases in Cornwall remain relatively low, we are starting to see an increase in the numbers as restrictions are relaxed. This could easily be made worse if people fail to follow social distancing rules and meet up in large groups this Easter bank holiday.
“If our past experience has taught us anything, it is that we cannot afford to give Covid an inch as it will spread through our communities in no time at all given half a chance.”
The warning comes after the seven-day infection rate in Cornwall increased from 12.6 per 100,000 at the beginning of March to 19.6 per 100,000 at the end of the month.
Rachel added: “Once again we urge everyone to make sure they know what the current roadmap rules are by visiting our roadmap rules webpage or the gov.uk website and follow them. On top of this, remember ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ at all times and get your vaccine when invited to do so.
“Only by acting responsibly and working together can we leave lockdowns behind and get back to doing the things we love.”
The Council’s enforcement team is continuing to work flat out in the run-up to Easter, giving local businesses advice on how to keep themselves and their customers Covid safe and compliant within the rules.
Under the current national restrictions, people in England are not permitted to travel for holidays or overnight stays in someone else's home.
Hotels, holiday lets and campsites are only permitted to accept guests under specific circumstances set out by the government, such as when people are travelling for work, to attend a funeral or moving house.
Those restrictions will not change until April 12 at the earliest.
Mark Luxton, Head of Community Protection, Licensing and Enforcement at Cornwall Council, said: “We encourage people to report concerns about businesses who may not be complying with the current rules but we also ask that you don’t jump to conclusions - remember some people will have legitimate reasons for being in Cornwall.
"But if business owners don’t follow the rules and are willing to put others at risk, we will not hesitate to take enforcement action against them.
“We have supported and provided advice and guidance to thousands of businesses over the last year and urge any of those who are unsure of the rules to get in touch.
“We are working with businesses to help them prepare to reopen safely when the restrictions are eased.”
Business owners and staff can request support and information via the Business Regulatory Support Hub. The hub also provides weekly webinars to keep businesses updated on the latest guidance.
If you think that a business is open in contravention of the rules, please email the Council’s dedicated email address for all queries related to Covid19 - firstname.lastname@example.org