Many constituents contacted me about visitors to Cornwall during the last week. I have held many conversations with the Tourism Minister, local government officials and stakeholders in the constituency. We hoped that government guidance on non-essential travel would be adhered to, but it is obvious many people travelled to Cornwall despite this advice.
As a result of the seriousness and the escalation of the pandemic, I appealed to all non-local people who may have considered visiting during this unprecedented crisis, asking them to please stay away, and do not travel to Cornwall. I believe that this is the time to stay at home and save lives.
Although our pubs, restaurants and tourist attractions are closed, we look forward to welcoming visitors back after the present crisis has been dealt with. Right now, the best thing everyone else can do is to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.
In the face of this unprecedented global emergency, it is our duty to ensure that our health and care workers are fully equipped with the vital tools that they need to save lives. The Government has supplied millions of facemasks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items to hospitals, ambulance trusts, GP practices, pharmacists, care homes and hospices over the past week, and is now ramping up to go further and faster as demand grows.
From this week, the army will offer its support, with service personnel helping to deliver and distribute urgent PPE supplies, and delivery times are being extended into evenings and weekends where necessary. We are working round the clock to ensure that dedicated frontline NHS and social care staff get this protective equipment, so they are well-equipped to continue to fight the virus.
Many of our great North Cornwall businesses have shut down and closed to help support this great effort, and my Cornish MP colleagues and I have been very vocal with Westminster on their behalf. A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees.
This following link helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply. https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/. I would also like to reiterate that commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to everyone in North Cornwall, especially those of you who are helping and supporting the most vulnerable. The stories and reports of kindness in our constituency are very heartwarming and if there is a positive to this crisis, it is that our North Cornwall community is stronger and more united than ever before.
My team and I are working hard around the clock to do our bit, and I would ask if possible, you please email my office rather than call. This will help my staff (who I have asked to work from home) deal with your contact faster.