Campsites across Cornwall are fully booked until the end of September as fears of a second wave of coronavirus cause the British to seek tens of thousands of holidays abroad.
For a week-long stay of two adults starting tomorrow, there is not a single parking space, mobile home parking space or lodge available on one of the 20 best campsites in the county, as people flock to the south west of England to enjoy a summer break.
MailOnline polled the 20 best campsites in Cornwall, according to campites.co.uk, and found that Little Trevothan Camping & Caravan Park in Helston and Polruan Holidays in Fowey were full by the end of August.
Others, such as the Trethem Mill Touring Park in Truro, are fully booked until the end of September – but must be operated at a reduced capacity of around 50 percent to ensure that they meet the requirements of social distance.
Other locations such as Newquay, St. Austell, Par, Looe, St. Columb Major, Padstow, Whitecross, Mevagissey, Redruth, Bude, Perranporth, Camelford, Marazion and Bude are also fully booked for at least the next week.
It is because parks and campsites across the UK experienced a boom in bookings as the British gave up planning trips abroad and flooded Haven, Butlin & # 39; s, Center Parcs and Hoseasons – and cottages bookings increased.
Surfers and vacationers pack into the waters yesterday at Polzeath Beach in Cornwall as temperatures start to rise
The Waterside Holiday Park in Paignton, Devon, pictured yesterday, is one of the places with high demand
Campers on a busy stretch of coast in Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent yesterday afternoon
Children, their parents and grandparents are playing in the sunshine yesterday at Elmhurst Caravan Park on the Isle of Sheppey
In the meantime, officials in St. Ives, famous for their narrow streets, have introduced a policy to ensure that everyone can keep the distance of more than one meter, which is currently recommended with increasing visitor numbers.
The parking lots in the area are full and people are packing up on the city's popular beach and surrounding cafés. Guests were advised to wear a face mask and not to push themselves into smaller shops.
Staycation Beauty Spots "Vandalized and Trash Infested"
By Alan Shields, Sarah Ward and Ellie Forbes for the Scottish Daily Mail
According to politicians, beauty spots are infested with throwing waste and vandals.
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser calls for police action to address the problems as people flock to the countryside. In the recent incidents, Jobs damaged trees, destroyed old ruins, and left tons of garbage behind.
One of the most famous sights in recent weeks has been the recently restored sign at John o & # 39; Groats, which was broken off by visitors swinging on it.
Mr. Fraser, 54, an avid wild camper, said he made sure he didn't leave any traces of his stays on munro bagging trips.
In The Scotsman, he wrote: “Given the closure of many official campsites due to the Covid 19 pandemic and restrictions on travel abroad, it may come as no surprise that these activities have increased significantly in recent weeks.
"But that's not an excuse for some of the behaviors we're seeing. There is no easy solution to this problem. Agencies need to work together to identify and hold criminals accountable. "
Among the incidents at heritage sites during the closure, six people were caught illegally detecting metal and reports of someone digging at the Callanish Standing Stones in Lewis.
Historical environment Scotland (HES) said that no serious damage had been done, but the archeology could have been disturbed. It was also said to be "horrified" that the Iron Age Fort Castlelaw Hill near Penicuik, Midlothian was used as a toilet.
In the meantime, a petition calls for an “overload fee” for RVs on the 516-mile North Coast 500 route. Within a few days, more than 3,700 people joined a Facebook group to document problems. Local MP Jamie Stone said: "The Scottish Government must know the full force of our concerns."
The North Highland Initiative developed the route five years ago. Chairman David Whiteford said, "NHI will continue to work towards a responsible balance between economic recovery and public security."
A spokesman for the Scottish government said: "Ministers are aware of a number of incidents of garbage, anti-social behavior and damage to our natural environment and are aware that this behavior is completely unacceptable and disrespectful to local communities."
He added that local fines could be imposed on the public for trash and anti-social behavior such as vandalism, urination, and intoxication.
Malcolm Bell, managing director of Visit Cornwall, admitted earlier this week that some locals are still "nervous" about the sudden onslaught of tourists, but broadly said, "Everyone adheres to the rules of social distance."
He told the Daily Mail: “In general, everyone is very happy. It obviously feels a lot busier for the locals, but overall, everyone adheres to the distance rules.
“Some of the historic cities like St. Ives and Padstow were almost full of people walking the streets. So we remind people again to think about going to other places and making sure that they're busy.
“We have introduced a one-way system that is somehow adhered to, but I'm afraid that people can be a bit forgetful on vacation. I think for some locals it's two meters, just six feet. Even if you keep this distance, it can feel pretty busy.
"So we would say to people with a more nervous attitude that we are thinking about it and are ready to go to a somewhat quieter place – there will be times when it feels a little busy.
& # 39; There is still nervousness from locals. There is still this shock. Places like St. Ives in winter are a ghost town. I think by and large the locals feel that people are doing their best to stick to the rules and they know we need it for the thousands of jobs.
“For the vast majority, it is probably best summarized that we need tourism so that we have to accept it. In an ideal world, they would prefer to have Cornwall to themselves. There are still some who are very nervous. & # 39;
The collapse of the foreign holidays has given British tourism a tremendous opportunity as demand for lodging has increased after hotels, campsites and restaurants were allowed to reopen on July 4th after the closure.
Business is booming now, and Sunday's government announcement that those arriving from Spain may need to isolate themselves for 14 days after an increase in some cases has further improved the outlook.
Given the risk of other countries joining the list as cases increase across Europe, many are considering staying in the UK instead of isolating themselves for two weeks, especially those who cannot work from home.
Jane Pendlebury, managing director of the Hospitality Professionals Association, told AFP: "A stay in the UK … carries a much less disruptive risk."
“Of course, the danger of regional outbreaks is real, but the restrictions imposed will not be as effective – returning from the UK is far easier than from abroad.
"While we may not be able to offer the same weather as the Balearic or Canary Islands, we can offer exceptional hospitality, albeit with the necessary precautions," she added.
The tour operator TUI has made the general decision to cancel all planned holidays on mainland Spain by August 9. British campsites and vacation rental operators have now seen bookings increase.
Graham Donoghue, general manager of Sykes Cottages, told the BBC: & # 39; News of Spain's weekend travel restrictions resulted in a 53 percent year-on-year increase in bookings. We also see a steady stream of vacation bookings in 2021. & # 39;
The Whitbread Group, which owns the Premier Inn chain, said it has had strong summer booking requests for hotel rooms in tourist hotspots since early July.
The Ramslade Caravan & Motorhome Club near Paignton in Devon was pictured yesterday in the midst of the British boom in residence
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks yesterday during a visit to Gyllyngvase Beach Cafe in Falmouth, Cornwall
Visitors with face masks walk through the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth on Monday after its reopening
The exclusive department store Fortnum and Mason even offers a special "Perfect Staycation" package – of course with a picnic basket, champagne and tea.
Quarantine measures could be extended to other countries
Grant Shapps arrives at his Hertfordshire home yesterday
Secretary of Transport Grant Shapps said he could not rule out that other countries could be involved in the UK's quarantine measures.
Mr. Shapps spoke to reporters when he returned to the UK after canceling a family vacation in Spain.
It follows the UK government's decision to isolate travelers from the country after their return to the UK after a 14-day increase in cases of Covid-19.
He said: “We urgently need to act as soon as we get the information, and that is exactly what happened to Spain, as we saw and as we saw over the weekend, where there were over 6,100 cases – the highest since the peak in March .
“It was the right thing and that's why all of Britain did it at the same time. I can therefore not rule out that other countries also have to go into quarantine. & # 39;
Mr. Shapps said he could understand the frustrations of those affected, even though he insisted that it was "essential" for the government to act.
He said: "I understand a lot (the frustrations), it obviously had an impact on me and my family and I am very, very sorry and I am annoyed by the thousands of Brits who are either gone or may not have made it have also go to Spain this summer.
"But it is absolutely essential that we acted when we did. This is why all four of the United Kingdom's nations acted together, and the numbers have since proven to be a justification for this action. I think we need to have a clear message and make sure that we act by adding whole countries to this list for now. & # 39;
The Transport Minister also said that the exclusion of certain Spanish islands from the UK government's measures had been considered.
He said: “We looked at whether certain islands (on the list) and others could not be included. Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, was very clear to us that he was concerned about the data. We had seen the data in Spain fast forward in 20, 48 hours and increase by 75 percent.
& # 39; It had doubled in just a few days. He was concerned about what was happening on the islands, and that's why we're making it a nationwide approach to these things. & # 39;
But even if more Britons choose to stay here this year, it is unlikely to make up for the deficit in the tourism sector that is asking the government for help to deal with the crisis.
VisitBritain, the lobby of British tourism, estimates that the number of foreign tourists this year could drop by up to 60 percent due to the pandemic.
Labor has already warned of an unemployment crisis in which rates in the most tourist-dependent English regions such as Cornwall, Yorkshire and the Lake District are rising faster than the national average.
Destinations such as Bath that are popular with foreign tourists also have problems attracting the crowd.
The sight of some tourists moving around the city's famous Roman baths is in stark contrast to the usual crowd in the city, which usually receives around six million visitors annually.
“It's not even a quarter of the business that we normally get. I'd say it's two to three percent, ”said Marcus Barnes to AFP as he cleaned the front of his souvenir shop.
Local authorities have introduced new measures, such as limiting the number of groups that visit the city to attract potential vacationers.
"We think if we … let fewer people come but stay longer, invest more in the local economy and actually get more out of their visit, this is a more sustainable model for the future," said Stephen Bird of the City Council .
The few intrepid tourists spotted on the streets seemed to have calmed down. "You are starting to see hotel disinfection, social detachment, so I feel good overall," said Cieran Fowley, who lives in London.
Bookings are twice as high as last year, according to the Pitchup.com website, which sends 800,000 people to 2,000 UK campsites each year.
Some locations and parks are already taking strong bookings by summer of next year and are throwing a lifeline to the industry.
However, some companies are raising prices for 2021 by up to 50 percent to make up for the money lost during the ban.
The appeal of a UK holiday was reinforced by the government's decision to cut VAT for the hotel industry from 20 to 5 percent.
As a result, Haven, Butlin & # 39; s, and Center Parcs have reduced summer booking prices by more than 10 percent.
The rush has put a heavy strain on holiday companies. There are indications of double bookings that result in trips being canceled at the last minute.
According to Haven, bookings in the 36 parks increased 96 percent year over year. The sister brand Butlin & # 39; s also claims to run a roaring trade.
Hoseasons had to hire additional phone personnel to meet the huge demand.
Pitchup.com made the highest bookings of all time on a single day on Sunday – 6,100, which corresponds to around 18,000 people. It was twice as much as every single day in the past year.
Booking platform founder Dan Yates said there was a clear move to Staycations. He said the new controls for trips to Spain, which include return quarantine, are likely the "last nail in the coffin" for foreign holidays.
He added: "British holidaymakers are unlikely to run the risk of not being able to work when they return, which is likely to have caused UK bookings to increase."
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