Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s latest update on lockdown measures for the UK last night (10 May), Cumbria Tourism has welcomed the roadmap to recovery but for now is continuing to strongly urge people not to visit the county.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says: “We welcome the government’s planned ‘roadmap’ to recovery and Cumbria Tourism will continue its vigorous efforts to ensure businesses receive the ongoing government support that is absolutely critical. Our businesses are suffering greatly – by the end of this month the loss to Cumbria’s visitor economy will be £1.45bn – and this situation is not going to change in the short term. The government must work with us to safeguard jobs and the economy of the county.
“However, with Cumbria continuing to have one of the highest incidences of Coronavirus per head of population and a high number of older residents, the safety of local residents must take absolute top priority, along with a collective responsibility to help protect Cumbria’s NHS workers.
“We were genuinely surprised by the government announcement regarding travel to destinations for exercise and whilst we await further detail and clarity on this announcement today, and we look forward to seeing our visitors return when the time is right, for now our tourism businesses remain closed and Cumbria Tourism asks for everyone to continue to remain at home.
“At the same time we express our sincere gratitude and thanks to everyone for their resolve and doing the right thing – businesses and visitors. Your continued support remains critical.”
Richard Leafe, the Lake District National Park Authority’s Chief Executive said: “Following the Government’s announcement that people will be able to travel for exercise from Wednesday (13 May), we know that many will be keen to visit the Lake District.
“This is understandable for the many physical and mental health benefits the National Park provides. However, sadly Cumbria currently has one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the UK, therefore keeping our staff and local communities safe must remain our priority. For example, our mountain rescue teams are made up of volunteers, many of whom work in the NHS and other frontline professions, so we cannot afford to put unnecessary pressure on them. So 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.
“Campsites, hotels, restaurants and many businesses across the Lake District remain closed. When the time is right, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Lake District and have been working with partners to put measures in place that will help keep people safe, such as new car park information and availability to help plan ahead.
“For now, we ask everyone who lives in and visits the Lake District to act responsibly, continue to observe social distancing and stay safe.”
“We wait to hear further details from the Government.”