The Sun : Brits flock to beauty spots despite tourist bosses begging them to stay away

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BRITS have been flocking to beauty spots today despite some tourist bosses urging them to stay away during the coronavirus lockdown.

Tourists were seen heading to scenic areas and beaches across the country after the Government gave the green light for travel for unlimited exercise.

Crowds of tourists descended on West Bexinton Dorset, a popular beauty spot
Crowds of tourists descended on West Bexinton Dorset, a popular beauty spot
©Graham Hunt
Nature lovers flocked to Durdle Door in Dorset
Nature lovers flocked to Durdle Door in Dorset following the easing of restrictions
©Graham Hunt

Walkers take a stroll at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall
SWNS:South West News Service
Walkers take a stroll at the Fistral beach in Newquay, Cornwall[/caption]

Cars line the country lane leading to Kingley Vale, in the South Downs National Park near Chichester, West Sussex
Cars line the country lane leading to Kingley Vale, in the South Downs National Park near Chichester, West Sussex
PA:Press Association

Tourists and nature lovers were spotted heading to iconic spots across the country, such as the Lake District and Ilkley Moor near Bradford.

While some areas, such as Dorset's Durdle Door, are welcoming visitors, many have said they won't be welcoming tourists despite the easing of restrictions.

Cornwall, Cumbria and the Cotswolds were among some of the regions which have said they wouldn't be welcoming tourists yet despite the lockdown easing.

And Blackpool has even begged tourists to stay away, using its Twitter page to spread the message: 'Do Not Visit Blackpool'.

The Lake District, too, is also warning tourists not to return just yet to help Cumbria overcome the spread of the virus.

National Park Authority chief executive Richard Leafe said: 'For now, we're asking people not to rush back to the Lake District – help protect our communities, the fells will still be here when this passes.

Walkers take a stroll in the Lake District
PA:Press Association
Walkers take a stroll in the Lake District[/caption]

Durdle Door is one of the few sites that have not told tourists to stay away
Durdle Door is one of the few sites that have not told tourists to stay away
©Graham Hunt

Boris Johnson outlined his "first sketch of a roadmap" for the gradual lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures on Sunday night.

From today, the PM said people would be allowed to drive to the countryside and beaches, as long as they maintain a safe social distance from others.

It's huge news for Brits who will be able to travel to exercise from Wednesday – no matter how far.

It will mean Brits can take day trips to the beach, parks and lakes that are not nearby.

But they must stay within England and cannot cross the border into Wales or Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon warned anyone crossing over could face arrest, too.

But shortly after the address, Cumbria's tourism board tweeted: "We are shocked by the timing and short notice of tonight's announcement.

"We are awaiting further details but the safety of residents must come first.

Car parks in scenic Durdle Door were full
©Graham Hunt
Car parks in scenic Durdle Door were full[/caption]

Walkers take a stroll at Rannerdale Knotts in the Lake District, Cumbria
PA:Press Association
People have flocked to beauty spots such as the Lake District, pictured, though Cumbria's tourist board has urged people to remain at home[/caption]

A couple pause during a walk on the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor above Ilkley, West Yorkshire
A couple pause during a walk on the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor above Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Guzelian

"For now, tourism businesses in Cumbria remain closed and we urge everyone to continue to #StayHome."

Jim Walker, chairman of Cumbria Tourism, told Sky News on Monday: "We have been very surprised by Prime Minister Johnson's statement regarding the easing of travel restrictions.

"We believe this could have severe implications for Cumbria, for our NHS and for those who live in the county.

"Cumbria has one of the highest infection rates for coronavirus in the UK.

"The arrival of many day visitors could easily compromise all the really good work that has been done to date to manage the current situation.

"We are therefore continuing to promote the message that Cumbria is closed to visitors, although we really look forward to the time that our businesses will reopen and we can welcome people back to our beautiful county."

Cotswolds Tourism also warned: "We certainly won't be encouraging anyone to visit the Cotswolds before hospitality businesses are open to welcome them."

At this time we ask you to stay away, and in the comfort of your own home, plan a future break to Cornwall when it is safe to do so.

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall

Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, echoed similar thought, telling the broadcaster: "We do not believe the government announcement means carte blanche – total freedom – for anyone travelling from outside the county for a day visit.

"There is nowhere to stay. There are very limited places to eat, other than takeaways.

"At this time we ask you to stay away, and in the comfort of your own home, plan a future break to Cornwall when it is safe to do so.

Nancy Platts, leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, said: "We want a slow, steady and safe progression towards lockdown lifting."

The council released a statement, saying: "We want to make sure we are stepping forward in a measured way. We know restrictions will need to stay in place for a long time to come.

Brits took advantage of the easing of restrictions to get some fresh air
Guzelian
Brits took advantage of the easing of restrictions to get some fresh air[/caption]

"We want the restrictions to be lifted carefully in a positive direction. Our priority is to keep people who live in the city safe. One concern is around how residents can maintain physical distancing in our busy city if we have an influx of visitors.

"The Prime Minister has said that hospitality and leisure businesses are not likely to open before July. The shops and attractions are still closed and we want people who do not live in Brighton and Hove to stay away."

James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "In March we asked people to stay away from our many beauty spots – coastline and countryside – to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

"We welcome the road map to recovery but with caution. Please respect that these communities are not yet able to cope with tourism."

The Forestry Commission also urged people to stay at home and only travel to woods if they live nearby and are able to walk there.

A spokesman told MailOnline: "Although this is great news and we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the nation's forests as soon as we can, our priority is to keep people safe.

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"Please continue to avoid making unnecessary journeys and do not travel to the nation's forests. Local people can still walk and cycle to our forests but must follow government rules on social distancing".

South Lakes police took to Twitter and told would-be travellers to "take a long hard look" at their conscious before heading to the Lake District.

Sharing a map which showed the North West as the worst affected area of the UK, they said: "Before considering travelling to #Cumbria #LakeDistrict please grab a brew, examine this map, and take a long hard look at your own conscience.

"We urge you to use common sense and to continue to exercise close to your own home. We need to break the cycle of infection #lockdown"

Travelling to Wales and Scotland for leisure trips is still not allowed, with the 'stay home' message remaining in place outside of England.

LIFE OUTSIDE LOCKDOWN

Ministers recently revealed their strategy for exiting the coronavirus lockdown which has kept much of the country indoors for the past 49 days.

Brits are now able to go on walks in the countryside, sunbathe outside, and travel longer distances if they stay two metres apart from those from other households.

Garden centres, golf clubs and tennis courts are also readying to reopen this week – provided social distancing is enforced.

The National Trust also confirmed today that officials are seeing if they are able to reopen any of their closed sites, but warned there were no immediate plans.

Brits will be able to travel to exercise from Wednesday – no matter how far.

It will mean Brits can take day trips to the beach, parks and lakes that are not nearby.

But they must stay within England and cannot cross the border into Wales or Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon warned anyone crossing over could face arrest, too.

A man walks with his two children near the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor above Ilkley, West Yorkshire after Bradford council today announced the reopening of the car park close to the beauty spot
Guzelian
A man walks with his two children near the Cow and Calf Rocks on Ilkley Moor above Ilkley, West Yorkshire after Bradford council today announced the reopening of the car park close to the beauty spot[/caption]

Brighton council has said urged people who do not live in Brighton and Hove to stay away
Getty Images - Getty
An empty shopping arcade at Windsor Station as tourists stay away, shops and business remain closed
PA:Press Association
A sign implores tourists to stay away and that Wales is closed during the pandemic lockdown
Getty Images - Getty
Cornwall is one of the regions which said they wouldn't be welcoming tourists
Getty - Contributor

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