We must all stay away from our beaches now to avoid causing a coronavirus second wave – The Sun

WE are told that in a ­matter of weeks the UK will be declared open so we can all enjoy a summer staycation.

It sounds wonderful to think that we will soon be able to frolic on the beaches of Cornwall, go for long walks in the Lake District and enjoy wildlife in the Outer Hebrides. But hang on a minute.

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Are we absolutely certain it’s going to be completely safe by then? Not just for all the daytrippers and holidaymakers, but for the people who are lucky enough to live in the most scenic and glorious parts of our country.

I know a lot of businesses are struggling — especially hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, and tourist attractions — and they desperately need an influx of visitors in order to survive.

But that has to be weighed up against the safety and well-being of local people.

It’s especially true in areas relatively free from Covid-19.

A surge of tourists could have the same sort of catastrophic effect that befell the Incas, Native Americans and tribes in the Caribbean who were decimated by disease when Europeans first arrived on their shores.

The last thing we want to do is further spread this cruel virus and create a second wave that engulfs our NHS.

It would mean all of our efforts staying at home and being so careful about handwashing and social-distancing would have been for nought.

No one wants to see the emergency Nightingale and Louisa Jordan hospitals actually being used to anywhere near capacity.

And our vulnerable care homes must not experience more deaths.

I’d rather exercise caution and put off any holiday plans until we have this properly under control — hopefully just a few weeks longer.

I’ve been very dismayed this week at the way everyone seems to have let their guard down.

Social-distancing is nowhere near as stringent, and people are drifting into pre-Covid behaviour.

Of course we need to get back to some sort of “new normal” but I think this has to be done with baby steps.

The hordes of sun-worshippers on crowded beaches on the south coast of England, large groups of friends enjoying picnics and teenagers gathering in big numbers to have a booze-up are a recipe for utter disaster.

There’s nothing I would enjoy more than being able to go on my annual trip to Orkney, which was of course put on hold earlier this year.

It’s one of the highlights of my year and I can feel the stress oozing out of my body when I set foot on this glorious part of the world.

The welcome is warm, the food is enticing, the local gin and whisky are things of beauty and just breathing in the fresh air on those coastal walks is a joy.

I’d go back this second, but only if the people of Orkney want me there, and only if it’s safe to do so.

Again it comes down to having clear, no-nonsense, unfudged information.

It’s not good enough just to tell us all to be “alert”.

I need someone in charge who is trustworthy to tell me that visiting a UK tourist destination this summer will be safe for all concerned.

I desperately want to support our tourist industry and I think most of us will be staying at home this year and exploring attractions closer to home.

Our Good Morning Britain GP, Dr Hilary, who has been the nation’s voice of reason during this whole crisis, has said he would not be comfortable taking a flight any time soon and I have to agree.

I know the aviation industry is in deep trouble, but I don’t see how you can stay socially distanced on a plane, and personally I’d rather err on the side of caution.

I feel desperately sorry for families who have booked their summer hols abroad and are now waiting to see if they will go ahead without the prospect of having to quarantine on arrival.

They also need clear direction from the Government if they have to apply for refunds on their hard-earned deposits or air tickets.

None of us wants to be part of the problem, and we need to do everything we possibly can to stop that dreaded second wave.

We just need more clarity before we throw caution to the wind.

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