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Date published: 22nd March 2020

North Norfolk District Council is joining a number of local authorities in East Anglia and around the UK in expressing concern about holiday-makers visiting their areas during this critical period in the fight against Coronavirus.

Popular tourist spots including beaches along the North Norfolk coast were very busy over the weekend - despite Government guidelines on social distancing and the closure earlier in the week of restaurants, bars and many other businesses which normally meet the needs of tourists.

North Norfolk District Council Leader Sarah Bütikofer says the authority has contacted Norfolk County Council and neighbouring coastal districts at Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk to discuss the matter and raise it as an urgent priority with central government. 

It follows a similar statement issued by Cornwall’s local authority, where the same issues are occurring.

Cllr. Bütikofer commented: “Normally of course we welcome visitors to our beautiful part of the world with open arms and we are all very much looking forward to happier and safer times when we can do so again.

“However during these difficult weeks when as a nation we are implementing firm social distancing guidelines laid down by the Government, a combination of tourists and those temporarily occupying holiday homes in our area could increase the population of North Norfolk by between 10 and 20 per cent at any given time. This is not only potentially unsafe in terms of facilitating the spread of the virus, it also places significant extra strain on local resources and infrastructure.

“Our priority is the safety of everyone - residents and those thinking of visiting - during this absolutely vital stage in the nation’s battle against Coronavirus and we are consulting with our neighbour authorities in the county urgently to raise this with central government. 

“The Government needs to update its policy and advice on social distancing to specifically advise against taking holidays, including those visiting caravan parks, in areas like ours at this time. This is to help us all to work together as a society to combat the threat of Coronavirus as effectively as possible.”

Last updated: 22nd March 2020