Three MPs urge holiday-makers and second home owners not to flock to Norfolk

Conservative Duncan Baker speaks after becoming the new MP for North Norfolk. Picture: DENISE BRADLE

Conservative Duncan Baker speaks after becoming the new MP for North Norfolk. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Three members of parliament have chimed into the coronavirus travel debate - echoing calls for holiday-makers to steer clear of the Norfolk coast.

Duncan Baker, MP for North Norfolk, has made what he is calling “an urgent plea” for second home owners and holiday-makers not to flock to the coast amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

In an open letter which he published on his social media platforms, Mr Baker backed the calls of fellow Conservative MP George Freeman for people to avoid holidaying in his consistency.

In it he says: “I am fortunate to represent an incredibly beautiful constituency, which is also my home in and around the North Norfolk coast.

“However, this is an appeal - along with many, I have been increasingly concerned about the number of holiday-makers visiting North Norfolk over the last few days.

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

“It is vital everybody follows government guidance to slow and stop the spread of coronavirus which includes avoiding non-essential travel.

“A holiday currently is not essential and making those unnecessary trips right now must be thought carefully about. We must stop the spread of the virus and I urge everybody to please take this advice.”

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Mr Baker cited the county’s elderly population and rural setting among his reasons for advising people to avoid flocking to Norfolk.

He added: “More holiday-makers will exacerbate our local food provision and supermarket delivery service. We strongly urge people not stockpile and put pressure on our food supply.

“Above all, visitors from densely populated areas such as London may very well bring the virus to an area which so far is experiencing a lower number of cases.

It comes as his fellow MP Mr Freeman took to Twitter to heed a similar warning.He wrote: “To those people with 2nd homes in Norfolk: PLS DONT flee London to come to Norfolk: you risk spreading the virus, Norfolk’s pubs are closed & shops don’t need 2nd homers, Norfolk’s retired elderly population is at high risk, our NHS needs to focus on our vulnerable.”

On Sunday (March 22), Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, joined in the call.

He said that while Great Yarmouth is “normally always ready to welcome visitors”, he would “strongly urge those who are not permanent residents of our borough to think again”.

“The government has issued very clear guidance that everyone needs to ensure that they follow. This includes avoiding all unnecessary travel, and travelling to a relatively rural and elderly area is not a sensible suggestion.

“It is safer for everyone if no one undertakes any trip which is not absolutely essential. This also applies to those with second homes here in Norfolk,” he said.