Britons have been urged not to travel to tourist hotspots during next week’s half-term holiday, with police warning of steep fines for those making unnecessary trips.
“We are in lockdown. We are closed. Please, please do not come,” said Alistair Handyside, South West Tourism Alliance chairman.
Police forces in England’s popular south-west regions have also issued messages reminding people of lockdown rules: “Stay local, Devon and Cornwall will welcome you back soon,” tweeted the Devon and Cornwall police.
Sally Everton, director of Visit Devon, said the tourism board supports the police message: “we are very much in the government’s hands and as things stand people have to stay away,” she said.
Meanwhile, Dorset’s police chief said that people could be fined hundreds of pounds for travelling to the county’s beauty spots during the half-term break, which runs from February 15–19.
James Vaughan, Dorset’s chief constable, said staying local does not mean “travelling for over 100 miles from out of the county to visit Dorset’s beaches, countryside or beauty spots […]. If people are found to have travelled unnecessarily and in blatant breach of the rules, they could be handed a £200 fine and turned around”.