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Coronavirus: Hunstanton mayor's concern at crowded resort



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The mayor of Hunstanton Anthony Bishopp has appealed to people coming to the resort in the present coronavirus outbreak not to put local residents at risk.

Social media posts showed chip shops in the town full yesterday as people travelled to the seaside town for a day out.

A reader who contacted the Lynn News yesterday said: "One chip shop was absolutely packed with people at tables and chair on the pavement. It wasn't right."

Hunstanton on Sunday Morning at 11.45 2020 during the Coronavirus outbreak. (32158403)
Hunstanton on Sunday Morning at 11.45 2020 during the Coronavirus outbreak. (32158403)

Today it seemed far quieter in the town. There were some motorcyclists on the seafront but most people seemed to be following instructions to stay at least 2m apart.

MPs in Norfolk have expressed concern that people are flocking up to the county. Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman and North Norfolk MP Duncan Baker both tweeted pleas for Londoners and others not to travel up here.

"A holiday currently is not essential," said Mr Baker.

Tony Bishopp, right, with Amanda Bosworth, his predecessor as mayor.
Tony Bishopp, right, with Amanda Bosworth, his predecessor as mayor.

On Friday, the Lynn News reported that people are flocking up to second homes along the coast in Burnham Market and surrounding areas.

Rachael Parke, who is front of house manager for restaurant and bar No.Twenty9 said holiday companies had told her that bookings were being blocked by owners so that they could spend time at the properties themselves.

https://www.lynnnews.co.uk/news/west-norfolk-village-proving-popular-as-a-destination-during-coronavirus-outbreak-9103372/

North Norfolk District Council said it has been in contact with West Norfolk Council and Great Yarmouth to urge a united front in asking the Government to close holiday accommodation on the coast.

Sarah Butikofer, North Norfolk council leader, said: "“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.”

Speaking on behalf of Hunstanton Town Council, Mr Bishopp said: "Following the announcement and guidance introduced by the Government over social distancing, I am appealing to people and businesses to limit social contact to save lives.

"This past week the government advised us all to take drastic steps to slow down the spread of Covid-19 which is having a major impact on our community both locally and nationally.

"We have been asked to cut down on all unnecessary travel and socialising and follow “social distancing” guidance. We have seen pubs, clubs, cinemas, theatres, restaurants etc. shut down.

"These are huge steps that impact on our lifestyle. No-one wants to avoid socialising with friends and family, but the reality is we have to.

"We must all take notice if we want to reduce the spread and impact of this virus to help our colleagues in the NHS to be able to cope with an increase in demand for critical care.

"I am disappointed to see that so many people in Hunstanton are ignoring this guidance and simply gathering in the Town, enjoying the sunshine, oblivious to the concerns for the welfare or the residents of the town. A town that has a considerably high number of elderly residents.

"I appeal to everyone in Hunstanton to please stop unnecessary travel and unnecessary socialising because this is the only way we will reduce deaths. We all need to play our part, and do this now.

"I am aware that a number of people are coming to Norfolk and using their second homes or holiday homes to seek shelter away from more densely populated areas. This may place an additional burden on local services and I would ask those visitors to ensure that they practice social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus here in Hunstanton.

"Many in our community feel they may not be affected by the virus as they are young, or fit and healthy but this virus can be life-threatening to young people too.

"We cannot and should not take comfort from the fact that victims are mostly the elderly or chronically ill because they are all human lives and we owe it to those people to limit our activities now. Please think about those vulnerable people who are scared and alone as they seek to take shelter in their homes. Please do everything you can to support them.

"I ask you to please speak to your young people, let them know how serious the situation is and the importance for them to limit their socialising too. As young people are sent home from school, please ask them to stay at home and not, as we see, congregating in groups in the town.

"These measures will undoubtedly have a terrible impact on the local economy and we all hope that HM Government find ways to support our local industries but I would ask business owners to consider whether continuing to attract groups of people to come together is socially responsible.

"My final appeal goes out to shoppers to stop stockpiling food and to think of others as panic-buying continues in response to the coronavirus crisis.

"Taking more than you need is making things difficult for the elderly and vulnerable and for frontline workers, such as NHS staff. Please think of those finishing their late shifts and going to a supermarket only to find empty shelves.

"Please, we all need to limit our socialising and travelling now so that we can reduce the spread of the virus and save lives. That’s how serious this is."



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