Cornish MP Steve Double said Britons must listen to British Government advice and stay home for the time being to help the NHS better cope with the deadly coronavirus pandemic gripping the UK. Pictures shared on social media at the weekend showed many had chosen to ignore Boris Johnson’s calls to socially distance to go to the park and embark on weekend getaways. But speaking to talkRADIO on Monday, Mr Double said: “There’s a very clear message that if you, at this time, make unnecessary, unessential travel, including to go on holiday or take a short break somewhere, you are putting lives at risk.
“It’s as simple and as blunt as that and the message from the Government is absolutely clear.
“We should be staying at home and not be travelling to other parts of the country to take a break or enjoy a holiday. This is not the time to do things like this.”
Mr Double issued a stark warning to second homeowners considering relocating to Cornwall to ride out the outbreak, insisting medical staff in more rural areas could crumble under the extra pressure.
The St. Austell and Newquay MP’s plea comes as SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford urged Britons with holiday homes to stay away from the Scottish Highlands as the only hospital there cannot cope with the extra demand.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Blackford addressed Mr Double directly to voice his solidarity with the Cornwall MP.
The SNP chief said: “The Highland area is 52 percent of Scotland’s landmass and 10.5 percent of the UK’s landmass. We have one acute hospital in Inverness. For many that hospital will be more than a three-hour drive from home.
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“Think about that. Often when there is a hospital with a problem with over-capacity in an urban area people can be transferred to another one.
“We do not have that opportunity in the Highlands. We have that one hospital. And I am asking everyone to think about coming to the Highlands and to think about that threat.”
Echoing the sentiment, Mr Double said: “This is primarily a health emergency and the health, well-being and safety of people has to take priority.
“What I would say to anyone who does own second homes somewhere like Cornwall or anywhere else in the country – you’ll be aware, if you come to Cornwall regularly, just how under pressure our NHS gets in the summer when we get all the tourists down.
“Right now is not the time to be putting more pressure on the Cornish NHS when it’s already at full stretch, coping with local residents with this virus.
“Listen to the advice, take the guidance, obey what is being said and please don’t travel where you’ll risk spreading the virus.”
Boris Johnson on Monday cancelled his now daily coronavirus briefing from Number 10 to attend an emergency COBRA meeting.
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