Weston’s Grand Pier has closed, ahead of calls by Visit Somerset asking visitors to “postpone your visit” to the county in order to protect vital services for local residents during the Coronavirus outbreak.
CEO John Turner urged those already planning a trip to the area to rethink their travel plans, and dissuaded city-dwellers from returning to holiday homes in order to self-isolate.
“Don’t come to Somerset right now,” said Turner. “We are saying to all visitors to postpone your visit, we think it’s got to that stage.”
“People are dying and essentially what we need to do now is that we take the pressure off of the public services in the short term.”
The warning follows the government’s encouragement not to undertake nonessential travel in order to use caravans and second homes, potentially placing regional communities under-served by hospitals and care facilities under threat.
“Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays,” said government guidance published on 22 March. “People should remain in their primary residence.”