Coronavirus lockdown: Second home owners warned to expect fines if they try to visit Cornwall and Devon during Easter weekend

Would-be holidaymakers and second home owners have been warned not to travel over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

As lockdown continues as part of the Covid-19 response trips to the countryside may appeal to city-dwellers - but police have warned that anyone caught will be fined for making unnecessary journeys.

One area of particular concern is the South West, an ever-popular region for people hoping to make the most of the holiday.
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Devon and Cornwall Police said anyone driving down without good reason will be refused entry, however, and said officers will be patrolling major roads to enforce the Government's safety measures.

Chief Superintendent Ian Drummond-Smith, the Police Commander for Cornwall, said short holidays would be in breach of restrictions.
Stay away
Thousands usually flock to the West Country over the Easter weekend (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Thousands usually flock to the West Country over the Easter weekend (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

“Our officers will be patrolling this weekend, firstly on the M5 and A30 in an attempt to prevent visitors from entering the force area, and then locally to enforce the restrictions," he said.

"We will do so in a fair and balanced manner, but travelling down to the West Country is a serious breach of these restrictions and those doing so can expect to receive a fine.”

But locals are worried some will ignore the warnings and spend time in Devon and Cornwall.

Cornishman Dave Pollard said to i: "There is substantial worry about tourists deciding to come to Cornwall to visit second homes.

"Our health facilities are limited and any increase puts it under even greater strain.

"Cornwall will be here once this is all over and we will be ready and raring to welcome all visitors - but for now, please, stay away."

And Scott Hamilton, from the westerly village of Treen, added: "We have 20 homes in the village and half are second homes or holiday lets.

"Nearly everyone here is elderly or vulnerable so there is some anxiety about people coming for Easter, but so far there are none.

"It's very peaceful here. All the second home owners are doing the decent thing and and staying away."

The warning comes after yesterday's figures revealed more than 6,000 people have now died from coronavirus in the UK.

Britons have been urged by the Government to stay indoors and to adhere to guidelines in order to prevent the spread of the disease and to relieve the pressure on NHS staff.

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