Sun seeking tourists have ignored pleas to stay away from Blackpool, as the surrounding areas enter tough new COVID-19 restrictions. But Blackpool tourists are ignoring the rules…We think!
Visitors arrived in their droves to the popular seaside town over the weekend, even as the rest of Lancashire prepares for new localised measures to come into force.
Reports of large queues for attractions, gridlocked traffic and the majority of people not wearing facemasks as they swamped the promenades restaurants, bars and cafes appeared on social media platforms this weekend, September,19,2020.
Gem Concannon, 36, from Northwich, Cheshire, reported to UK press that she had visited the resort on Saturday September, 19, with her family.
“It was heaving, hardly anyone was wearing masks or social distancing. It was shocking, I’ve never seen it that busy before.”
Extra enforced measures, preventing households from mixing in private homes, and the addition of pubs and restaurants must shut by 10pm, are due to come into force to help reduce rising COVID-19 rates in Lancashire on Tuesday September, 22.
However, Blackpool, which is run by a separate unitary authority to the rest of Lancashire, will not be subject to these restrictions, even though Blackpool is part of Lancashire.
So are Blackpool tourists ignoring the rules?
Police had been expecting large crowds over the weekend thanks to the sunny September weather, but nothing could have prepared them for the massive influx of visitors.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, September, 18, Deputy Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary Terry Woods said, “Going to Blackpool, if you’re not from Blackpool, this weekend and mingling in any large crowds, that is not looking after my family and it wouldn’t be looking after your family.
“What we need to do is focus in on protecting yourself and your family. Make sensible decisions to protect yourselves, going to Blackpool in mass numbers is quite the opposite of protecting yourselves.”
Infection rates in Blackpool are lower than in some parts of Lancashire but the area has seen an increase in positive cases.
On the same day, Blackpool’s director of public health Dr Arif Rajpura explained: “The special measures that have been announced by the Government across large swathes of the north of England over the past 48 hours illustrate that nowhere is immune to this sort of intervention.
“The same advice goes to those visiting our resort. The only way to stop the spread of the virus is to respect the rules which are there for a reason.”
So, Blackpool tourists are ignoring the rules, but, it’s another conflicting set of rules.
Extending the run of the illuminations to encourage tourism, yet commenting people shouldn’t be visiting, are the rules applied in Blackpool or just the rest of Lancashire?
You can’t have more than six in your home, but can sit with a hundred people in a Blackpool pub, it just doesn’t seem logical. Whilst a need for following rules is required, it would help if the rules made some kind of sense.
A level of common sense should be applied and masks should be worn for your own safety as well as others regardless of your beliefs, especially when you are around children.
A little more clarity on the rules and exemptions would probably help prevent situations like this though.
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