UK tourism bosses urge people to stay away after being ‘shocked’ by Boris Johnson announcement

Richard Leafe, the chief executive of the Lake District National Park, said the announcement could be “very difficult” for communities in the park and in Cumbria more widely, saying: “Please don’t rush to visit us.”

Malcolm Bell, the chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said he thought the statement had been left open to misinterpretation and warned that a rush of tourists to the area could cause problems for the NHS.

He said Cornwall would undergo a “planned and phased” reopening, in conjunction with the health service, in a way that prevents it from being overwhelmed.

“At the moment, there is plenty of ICU [intensive care] capacity, but that could easily change,” he added. “Our position is please stay away. Our pubs and restaurants remain closed. There is no point in coming and you will worry local people, who are concerned.”

Mr Bell also pointed out that, with the majority of businesses and tourist attractions closed, visitors would bring little economic benefit to the area.

Steve Double, the Conservative MP for St Austell and Newquay in Cornwall, told the BBC the guidance was “clear” and limited to daily exercise.

He said: “This certainly does not give the green light for people to flock to Cornwall to come and have a holiday or move location to their second home.”

Trevor Beattie, the chief executive of the South Downs National Park in Sussex, said the safety of visitors and the 117,000 people living in the park area is the “absolute priority”. 

He said that, if people do visit, they should follow Government guidelines by social distancing or avoiding particularly popular and busy spots. 

The Government is publishing more detailed guidance later on Monday.

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