Testing plea for visitors as holiday season heats up

Young woman holds a swab into her mouth and holding a medical tube for the coronavirus / covid19 ho

Norfolk County Council has encouraged visitors to regularly test themselves for Covid-19. - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pack your toothbrush, but leave the Covid at home. That's the message from council leaders to holidaymakers planning to travel to Norfolk over the summer holidays, as efforts continue to keep the county's coronavirus rates down. 

Norfolk County Council has published advice for visitors and tourists, asking people to regularly test themselves for the disease during their stay. 

It comes just as the 'staycation' trend signals a record summer for Norfolk's tourism sector, and follows a similar call for Covid testing for all tourists from another popular county, Cornwall. 

Locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine on Sheringham beach. Picture: Danielle Booden

Locals and tourists enjoying the sunshine on Sheringham beach.   - Credit: Danielle Booden

NCC's advice says: "In line with government guidance, we’d urge all visitors to continue with twice-weekly symptom-free testing (LFD test) whilst staying in Norfolk. So that you can carry on your routine uninterrupted, bring your tests with you."

Andrew Proctor, the council's leader, said: “There is no doubt we are in a better position than in the first and second waves, due to the success of the vaccination programme - but that does not mean we should drop our guard." 

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

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North Norfolk District Council leader Sarah Bütikofer said would be "reasonable" to ask anyone coming to Norfolk after attending a large event to take a Covid test first, but she would not make a blanket request for testing to all visitors. 

Liberal Democrat council leader Sarah Bütikofer. Picture: North Norfolk District Council

North Norfolk District Council leader Sarah Bütikofer.  - Credit: North Norfolk District Council

She said: "It's an interesting idea from Cornwall but there's in the law for it, and how would you enforce it? All we can do is ask people to act responsibly, make sure they're washing their hands regularly and wearing a mask in enclosed spaces. I know you don't have to wear a mask any more but it is respectful to other visitors and residents."

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"We know there have been spikes amongst people coming from large gatherings like the football, so in that circumstance, it would be reasonable to ask people to please be considerate and take a test." 

Mrs Bütikofer said NNDC was continuing its programme of 'fogging' or disinfecting high-touch areas on Cromer Pier, pay-and-display parking ticket machines and public toilets. 

Although case numbers are climbing, the overall numbers are still low in many parts of the county.

Mrs Bütikofer said north Norfolk had the lowest infection rate in the country - even lower than Shetland - for 10 days in July.
She added: “We’re keen to keep it that way and we can’t afford to be complacent”. 

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