The mayor of an upmarket coastal town dubbed ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’ has urged visitors to ’show a bit of respect’ and follow social distancing rules after the normal population surged by 1,000 per cent amid a staycation boom.
Thousands of tourists and second home owners flocked back to Salcombe in Devon from the moment the green light was given by the Government for people to go on holidays at the start of last month.
But town mayor Nikki Turton said tourists seem to ‘think they are in a bubble’ and do not have to maintain social distancing with signs being ignored by a ‘minority who don’t think it counts because they are on holiday’.
She told the BBC: ’It’s like August bank holiday weekend every day, everybody is exhausted and overwhelmed. The businesses need the customers but we would just like a bit of respect back for the town that they claim to love.’
Salcombe has a population of about 2,000 in the winter but this risen to about 25,000 after the lockdown ended on July 4, according to the council, which is causing issues for people trying to socially distance in the town.
Ms Turton spoke out ten days ago, but the scale of the problems facing the resort became clear yesterday when a series of striking photographs were taken which show how many people are pouring into the bustling town.
Local residents have complained on social media this week that the town has become a ‘war zone’ with ‘hoards of teenagers and others roaming around, drinking, smashing bottles, swearing and shouting at people’.
It comes amid fears a fresh stampede of revellers to beauty spots as the country is set to be roasted by a ten-day heatwave, with nearly 20million Britons planning to go on a staycation holiday in the UK this year.
Tourists are expected to flock back to beaches across the country over the coming days as temperatures up to 99F (37C) sweep in from central Europe by the end of the week amid a level two heat warning.
A YouGov poll found 28 per cent of Britons plan to take a holiday in the UK this year – the equivalent of about 19million people – while only 9 per cent will go abroad and a further 49 per cent do not intend on holidaying.
Cornwall Council has slammed ‘ignorant’ tourists who descended on beauty spots without their face masks, with fears building in the county over a rise in coronavirus cases as people travel there for their holidays.
Tourists flock to the seaside town of Salcombe in Devon today, despite the fury of locals, with the mayor of the town hitting out at ‘disrespectful tourists’
Thousands of tourists and second home owners flocked back to Salcombe in Devon from the moment the green light was given by the Government for people to go on holidays
However, locals have hit out at the tourists, accusing some of flouting coronavirus restrictions as they enjoy the sunshine
Local residents have complained on social media this week that the town has become a ‘war zone’ with ‘hoards of teenagers and others roaming around’
Richard Powell and Claire Hodgkins in Salcombe. Richard said: ‘It is busy but does not seem unbearable. It is so nice to get away after lockdown. We have just arrived so it is too early to say too much about what it is like. But we are delighted to be here and everyone seems to be behaving’
Cornwall Council has slammed ‘ignorant’ tourists who descended on beauty spots without their face masks over the past few days
With less foreign holidays taking place amid concern over Covid-19 restrictions, locals and business owners
Tourists flock to the seaside town of Salcombe in Devon yesterday which has previously been dubbed ‘Chelsea-on-Sea’
Tourists walk through the narrow streets of the Devon seaside town of Salcombe yesterday which has become very busy
Tourists walk through Salcombe in Devon yesterday, where the town mayor has urged tourists to show ‘a bit of respect’
Salcombe, pictured yesterday, has become overrun with tourists as fears rise of local lockdowns in staycation hotspots
A full car park at Salcombe is pictured yesterday as people continue to descend on the Devon town for a staycation
Tourists enjoy a trip out on a boat while visiting the seaside town of Salcombe yesterday which has been busy with tourists
Tourists in Salcombe today have spoken about their experience.
Alison Moore, 61, of Oxford, said: ‘We have been coming to Salcombe for more than 30 years and the kids have grown up coming here every summer.
‘It is busy and is certainly different this year.
‘It has been quite difficult social distancing but it has not affected our week. We have still thoroughly enjoyed it
‘But we have seen a slightly different crowd though and a lot more younger people.
‘We have heard some stories about things happening that are not normally associated with Salcombe.
‘There have been fights that we have not witnessed but friends have told us they have.
‘A friend has a private slipway that their family have owned for years. They went there this morning and it was full of broken glasses and bottles.
‘There is a small minority ruining the atmosphere and it does taint it. But it doesn’t affect us and we still love the place. But it is probably the last year we will come in August for that type of reason.’
Alex Moore, 26, of Oxford, added: ‘ It does seem to have attracted a younger crowd this year. It is being sold as a destination for that so you can see why. It is maybe to do with people not being able to go to Spain.’
‘There was a bit of trouble with younger people in the bar. One guy was causing all kinds of problems as they weren’t allowed in due to social distancing and being too crowded. He wouldn’t leave and was kicking off.’
David Reeves, 60, of Knutsford, is on holiday in Dartmouth but came to Salcombe for the day.
He said: ‘We are down in Devon for the week and it is lovely to get away. Everyone has been reasonable and it is busy but it has been fine for us.’
A second home owner, known only as Liz, of Richmond-upon-Thames, said: ‘I was not down here when we were not allowed. It doesn’t feel as busy to me as me as normal summer.
‘It is fantastic to be back for two weeks. A small minority have not been behaving very sensibly but the vast majority are observing social distancing and enjoying themselves. I don’t really go out in the evening so don’t see much trouble.
‘I am disappointed that the press are being down on people coming away. Enjoying being by the sea is surely a healthy activity. It is great to see so many people down here again taking wonderful walks and enjoying the fresh air.’
Richard Powell, 40, was with partner Claire Hodgkins, 32, of Worcester, said: ‘We are here for two nights and then moving on to St Ives.
‘It is busy but does not seem unbearable. It is so nice to get away after lockdown. We have just arrived so it is too early to say too much about what it is like. But we are delighted to be here and everyone seems to be behaving.’
A Salcombe local tweeted yesterday: ‘We need police presence in Salcombe before someone gets really hurt. The town has turned into a free for all for teens in Salcombe town centre, with no one to stop them, and it’s getting dangerous.’
Staycation car hire meltdown: Holidaying Britons in frantic scramble to secure a vehicle as two-hour long queues form at offices
Holidaying Britons are in a frantic scramble to secure a hire car as more than 20million people head to beauty spots this year.
Britons are scrambling for staycation spots with campsites, B&Bs and holiday cottages booking up fast as tens of thousands of foreign stays were put on hold amid fears over a second wave of coronavirus.
Tourists need hire cars to get to idyllic locations such as Cornwall or Kent, but have encountered frustrating two hours queues at offices and significant delays on customer service helplines leading to a deluge of complaints.
Europcar, a French firm that operates in 140 countries worldwide , has been swamped with angry customers on social media.
Andrea Tolley on Twitter said: ‘Appalling service, two hour wait at Kennington office on Friday – car we booked not available, I got a refund today for the upgrade diff, no communication and not a refund, your charged me for the privilege. Cust service sounded offended I questioned this. NEVER AGAIN.’
And Marcus Chaloner said: ‘At your branch in Kennington after being told yesterday at 4pm that I couldn’t pick up my car at Lewisham – after having to travel an hour to get here, it’s absolute chaos here – your own employees don’t know what’s going on. People have places to be, flights to catch.’
Another said: ‘Salcombe has become a war zone. Our beautiful town has hoards of teenagers and others roaming around, drinking, smashing bottles, swearing and shouting at people. We are scared to walk through our own town. Desperately need police support and street marshals.’
A third tweeted local MP Anthony Mangnal and Devon and Cornwall Police, saying: ‘Do you have any idea what hell Salcombe is this year with packs of roaming drunken yobs causing mayhem and violence in our town?? Why oh why are there no police patrols here and why so long to respond to calls?’
With less foreign holidays taking place amid concern over Covid-19 restrictions, locals and business owners say the town, which is often known as a playground for rich Londoners, is heaving and busier than ever before.
And a series of striking photographs show how the social distancing has become difficult in the bustling town.
They include scenes on the narrow shopping streets and the picturesque harbour which are now packed with sun-seekers. The town council say the huge influx has also led to an increase in anti-social behaviour.
The spike in numbers has now raised fears of a ‘local lockdown’ similar to the one experienced in Leicester.
Roger Lidstone, of Bowers Wines and Spirits in Salcombe, said: ‘Things have picked up a lot since the beginning of July. It has been busier than usual in July, which is not surprising as it is the first month since lockdown.
‘People want to get away. It is a difficult balancing act as Salcombe as a town needs the tourists, but it has caused problems, especially in the evenings with people drinking too much.
‘Social distancing in the streets is tricky and I don’t think it has been observed thoroughly. Without the tourists we wouldn’t survive though. It was extremely quiet but now it has gone totally the other way.
‘They came back as soon as the lockdown was relaxed. We have a lot of second home owners who hadn’t been able to get to them, so they all came down. You cannot blame them, but who knows if it will lead to a local lockdown?
‘We have had very few cases in Devon compared to the rest of the UK, but with so many people around now, it could happen. Whatever happens, we will act accordingly.’
Anita Tildesley, who works for Salcombe Trading Company, said: ‘It’s much busier now and with a lot less people going abroad it seems a lot more people are visiting Devon.
‘I am happy to have some normality and be back open for business. I think if there has to be a local lockdown there will be. Time will tell. It is a legitimate concern that some have.
‘But it is a difficult balancing act, about welcoming tourists back but ensuring things don’t get any worse for those who live here.’
Salcombe town councillors say the influx in visitors has caused some issues, especially with people drinking. One, Caroline Bricknell, said: ‘It’s extremely busy, unfortunately some people are ruining it for everyone else.
‘All holiday makers get tarred with the same brush which isn’t fair, some of the people who come here are great but what the others are doing is causing bad feelings in the town with local people.
Thousands of tourists and second home owners have flocked back to Salcombe, pictured yesterday, since July 4
The town in Devon, pictured yesterday, has been overrun with tourists since lodkwon restrictions were eased
Tourists enjoy the sunshine in the town of Salcombe yesterday which has became a staycation hotspot in recent weeks
People sit outside in Salcombe yesterday as daytrippers and tourists enjoy the sunshine in the Devon town
The local mayor said the town of Salcombe, pictured yesterday, is like ‘August bank holiday weekend every day’
Salcombe has a population of about 2,000 in the winter but this risen to about 25,000 after the lockdown ended
A signs calls for social distancing at the seaside town of Salcombe yesterday which has been overrun with tourists
People look at at the water in the seaside town of Salcombe yesterday where huge numbers of tourists are visiting
People sit outside in the sunshine to enjoy a drink as tourists flock to the seaside town of Salcombe yesterday
‘There have been problems, we were in our boat the other day and there were about 15 people in another boat and they were throwing bottles in the water and playing loud music.
Pizza Express to close SIXTY-SEVEN restaurants across Britain with up to 1,100 jobs at risk – hours after launch of Rishi’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme – as Dixons announces 800 redundancies
Pizza Express today revealed it could shut 67 of its UK restaurants with up to 1,100 jobs at risk as it becomes the latest business devastated by coronavirus.
The 55-year-old company, owned by Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital, has debts of £735million and has put itself up for sale after bringing in experts.
Bosses at the chain said they wanted to push down rents by closing about 15 per cent of its 449 restaurants in the UK, which would help protect 9,000 jobs.
It means at least 75,000 jobs are now at risk across the UK amid the ongoing crisis which has devastated a swathe of industry sectors including hospitality.
The company closed all of its UK restaurants in March 20 after the Government-mandated lockdown, and has been gradually reopening them since July 9.
The news came as Currys PC World owner Dixons Carphone also announced that it is to cut 800 jobs as part of an overhaul of its store management structure.
And it emerged on the second day of the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which Pizza Express signed up to, giving diners 50 per cent off meals out on Mondays to Wednesdays throughout August to help beleaguered restaurants.
‘It’s those that are running it unfortunately for our lovely holiday makers. It seems to be more problematic this year, I think because they can’t go to Spain or Ibiza or anything else.
‘This week would have been regatta week and that’s a huge event in Salcombe, that would have made us up to about 25k people but it’s cancelled, and will be even busier in town because people book from year to year.
‘It’s hard to get a booking for regatta week, people will come down to stay in the places they booked – they’ve been coming for years, it’s a big thing in Salcombe.
‘We’ll have them and everyone else unfortunately. It’s just something we have to sort out.’
Beleaguered Cornish residents reported over the weekend how the popular county had turned into ‘Benidorm on steroids’ as floods of visitors left them too scared to leave their homes.
Meanwhile Thanet District Council in Kent begged people to avoid four of the area’s beaches – including the popular Margate’s Main Sands – due to the number of visitors.
And a drunken fight broke out on the seafront in Brighton on Saturday night as two women went toe-to-toe and others cheered and ignored social distancing.
Met Office forecaster Bonnie Diamond said: ‘There will be a warm spell across the UK but at the moment this hot weather will be focused in the south-east of England.
‘At the minute and with high confidence, we are expecting 34C (93F) to 36C (97F) by Friday and Saturday.’
These high temperatures are the result of southerly winds moving from Europe and high pressure patterns that are set to kick in from around Thursday.
Ms Diamond said: ‘The pressure pattern is generally high, so in combination with the southerly winds and high pressure we get settled, sunny and hot weather.’
The high temperatures could trigger some thunderstorms on Friday and Saturday.
It comes after temperatures reached 100F (37.8C) in London at 2.41pm on Friday, making it the third hottest day ever recorded in the UK.
The highest ever UK temperature, 101.7F (38.7C), was recorded in Cambridge University Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.
The second hottest day ever was a recorded at 101.3F (38.5C) in Faversham, Kent, on August 10, 2003.
Race to fix NHS contact tracing before schools return: Ministers admit there’s ‘more to do’ but say pupils WILL return in September after Lancet report warned failures in testing would cause a devastating second wave
Ministers today admitted the struggling coronavirus contact tracing system must improve – but insisted schools will reopen in September despite fears of a catastrophic second peak.
Local government minister Simon Clarke conceded there is ‘more to do’ after a major study warned a resurgence of the disease could be twice as bad as that in the Spring.
Scientists said the only way of bringing back schools and avoiding another crisis around Christmas was to ramp up dramatically the NHS test and trace operation.
To prevent a second wave when schools reopen, the NHS contact tracing system must reach 68 per cent of cases and their contacts, according to researchers from University College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
But the current NHS system is ‘not good enough’ as it reaches just half of contacts and only a fraction of symptomatic cases are tested.
The dire picture came as WHO expert David Nabarro cautioned that the virus is not ‘going away’, and it would return with a vengeance if people get ‘bored’ and stop obeying lockdown rules.
Meanwhile, former PM Tony Blair has called for a fresh push on mass testing, dismissing the idea of relying herd immunity or completely eradicating the disease. He said unless people without symptoms were routinely screened most of cases would continue to be missed.
However, in a round of interviews today Mr Clarke insisted that the reopening of schools in September was ‘not up for debate’ and will definitely go ahead. While stressing that the test and trace system was ‘delivering’, he said: ‘There’s always more to be done, we’re very honest about the fact this is a challenge.
‘There’s a massive role here for the public in helping us with this process, because in the end it is up to all of us to do the right thing.’
He added: ‘One thing is clear, schools are going to reopen in full in the autumn, that is not up for debate.’
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The invasion of 'Chelsea-on-Sea': Mayor of Salcombe hits out at 'disrespectful' tourists failing to socially distance as millions of staycationers continue to stream into Britain's beauty spots have 3332 words, post on www.dailymail.co.uk at August 4, 2020. This is cached page on VietNam Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.