Hornsea mayor tells visitors 'just don't come' over fears coronavirus restrictions could be flouted

The mayor of an East Riding seaside town has told potential visitors “just don’t come” amid fears coronavirus restrictions could be flouted this weekend ahead of lockdown easing.

Mayor of Hornsea Andrew Eastwood said visitors risked bringing the efforts and sacrifices of residents “tumbling down” with seaside day trips before coronavirus restrictions ease on Monday, March 29.

He added that although the pandemic and lockdown had had an “awful” effect on the local tourism industry, the consequences of flouting restrictions would be worse.

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The mayor’s comments come weeks after day trippers descended on Hornsea, provoking ire from local residents online.

The beach at Hornsea
The beach at Hornsea

They also come amid concerns sunny weather this weekend could see lockdown rule breaking at popular visitor spots.

Mayor Eastwood said he was worried when he saw the previous crowds, adding their decision to come was “silly and stupid”.

The mayor said: “My message to people for this weekend is just don’t come, I think it’s silly that people would take that risk. I think with us this close to things being better we’d risk them taking a turn for the worst if people came.

“A few weeks ago we had crowds on the beaches, people walking up and down the promenade, the car parks were all full, they think someone else will catch it but I won’t. It would be silly at this stage to spoil it now, I urge people to be sensible and think about others, they think just because the weather’s nice it won’t happen to them but it could.”

Mayor Eastwood said he was saddened to see the town in its current state with many businesses still closed due to restrictions.

The mayor said: “The thing is so many businesses in the town have been closed for so long, a number of them have shut down all together. It’s been an absolutely awful time for them, and I wish this could come to an end so these businesses can start up again, it’s so sad.

“But people coming here too early isn’t the answer. Look at what’s happening on the continent, they’re going back into lockdown because their cases have started to rise.

“We’re so lucky that the UK is doing well and we’ve got such a successful vaccination programme. I know our businesses and others are dying to reopen, but now isn’t the time.

“We just need to put up with a few more weeks of hardship then things will get better. It would be so sad to bring it all tumbling back down again.”