Steve Double MP statement on new lockdown guidance

“I am pleased to see that the Government has now published its new lockdown guidance.

This expands on the Prime Minister’s statement from last night and goes into detail on our plan to rebuild.

I have included a link to it below and would encourage people to read it to fully understand the guidance:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/our-plan-to-rebuild-the-uk-governments-covid-19-recovery-strategy

One particular issue that has been repeatedly highlighted to me is that many people took last night’s statement to mean that people would now be visiting Cornwall as holiday makers and tourists again, with concern that this would lead to a second wave of virus infection.

From the guidance it is clear that the SAGE advice is that the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside.

Because of this the Government is updating the rules so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to maintaining social distancing

People may drive to outdoor open spaces irrespective of distance, so long as they respect social distancing guidance while they are there, because this does not involve contact with people outside your household. 

So, essentially, scientific guidance says that the risk of catching the virus outside is low providing social distancing is kept.

The guidance also says that people are free to drive ‘to outdoor open spaces’

This clearly does NOT include driving to your second home or holiday home.

There may be some people who decide to drive to Cornwall for a day out.

But all the attractions, restaurants, pubs and café and shops remain close, as does holiday accommodation, campsites and hotels. So people can come to Cornwall, walk around, sit on a beach while maintaining social distancing and then drive home.

There is very little risk if they do this.

The guidance is clear where it says:

‘Leaving your home - the place you live - to stay at another home for a holiday or other purpose is not allowed. This includes visiting second homes.

Premises such as hotels and bed and breakfasts will remain closed, except where providing accommodation for specific reasons set out in law, such as for critical workers where required for a reason relating to their work.’

 

While I was not drawn to speak in Parliament today, it was good to see the Prime Minister reply to a question very similar to one I would have asked, saying:

“We don’t want to see people travelling to another home for a holiday or to a second home, that is not what this is about, this is about allowing people the pleasure and the exercise of going to national parks or places of outstanding natural beauty to take advantage of the open air.”

“The Government will continue to monitor the situation closely and I do all I can to ensure Mid-Cornwall’s voice is heard as this process goes on.”

More FAQs on the latest guidance can be found via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do