Brits in the last remaining Tier One area beg others to stay away to avoid Covid

Residents in England’s last remaining Tier One area have begged so-called pint tourists: stay away.

Neighbours on the Isles of Scilly, the long-last area to be awarded the privilege of a pint without substantial meal, have asked outsides to keep their distance.

There have been no fresh Coronavirus cases on the islands since September, when two people caught it after a trip to the mainland.

Since then they have been put under the enviable loose restriction that much of England can only dream of.

The Isles are the last in the country to be able to pour a pint without having to dish up grub alongside it, Cornwall Live reported.

But that has meant that some chancers have tried their luck at cashing in on the freedom.

Police recently stopped five people from Tier Four areas on arrival – and locals have fumed that there are bound to be more.

Linda Thomas, a 69-year-old librarian from main island St Mary’s, said the news is “no time for jubilation” as residents worry about their relatives on the mainland and the risk of the virus coming to the isles – which only have one small hospital and a high elderly population.

“Having seen our family and friends in Cornwall go from a Tier 1 to a Tier 3 in under a week because of mindless selfish people from higher tiers travelling down is very disturbing,” Ms Thomas said.

“We know that some of these people were heading to the islands and I have no doubt that some made it.”

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Another islander, Barbara Simpson, 78, said: “Those who freely admit they have come to Scilly to get away from the virus obviously have no idea – or don’t care – of the risk they pose to us.

“The total lack of awareness and arrogance of these people is staggering.”

Jonathan Smith, a councillor for the island of St Martin’s who also runs a small organic fruit and vegetable farm, said remaining in the lowest tier of restrictions was a relief but “no great surprise” as they have had no recorded Covid-19 cases since September.

“It’s an interesting paradox that Scilly remains the only place left in Tier 1,” he said. “We are probably the place in the country for fewest options for travel, shopping and eating out in the winter months.”

The Council of the Isles of Scilly has urged islanders to stay local this New Year’s Eve and called on those planning to travel to the islands to think carefully. A spokesperson for the council said: “Please consider whether the risk of spreading the virus on a single night out is worth jeopardising the massive effort made to keep our community and services safe so far this year.

"As we have previously advised, just because you can do something, doesn’t necessarily mean you should, so please consider the Prime Minister’s advice to ‘see in the new year safely at home'.

“We strongly urge anyone planning to travel to the islands against this advice to reconsider, in light of what bringing the virus to the islands could mean for our community, particularly at this time of year.”

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