Advice has been given to anyone in Cornwall concerned that holiday homes near them are being used during half term, along with a warning to second home owners not to travel here.

Councillor Rob Nolan, portfolio holder for environment and public protection, said: "I'd like to remind everyone that under the national restrictions you cannot travel for a holiday.

"This means you should not be travelling outside of Cornwall and anyone outside should not be travelling in to Cornwall. This includes people with second homes.

"The guidance is very clear about it. National guidance is you mustn't travel for a holiday."

He said Covid enforcement teams worked seven days a week and would be out every day over half term, checking on properties and following up any reports received.

Anyone concerned that a holiday home was being used during half term could email or report it via the Cornwall Council website, he added.


"We will follow it up, if people are at all concerned if accommodation is being used when it shouldn't," he said.

While the council has no authority over second homes, which are the responsibility of the police to enforce, Cllr Nolan said the council's Covid team had met with Devon and Cornwall Police officers only this week to work out a strategy for half term and beyond.

"They will be looking to deal with people who shouldn't be here," he said, adding that anyone claiming an exceptional reason, such as travelling to Cornwall to attend a funeral, would be checked up on to ensure it is true – and if not "we will be sending them home."

Cllr Nolan was speaking at the latest Covid briefing from Cornwall Council, where advice was also given about whether it was OK for holiday accommodation owners in the Duchy, who would no doubt be looking to start recouping lost earnings, to start taking advance bookings in anticipation of when lockdown ends.

Council leader Julian German said tourism businesses in Cornwall had been "fantastic in understanding" the restrictions.

"As soon as we can get the pandemic numbers down and the vaccine rolled out, the sooner they can get back in business. I'm absolutely assured our businesses understand that whilst it's difficult they need to wait until the time is right," he added.

Rachel Wigglesworth, Cornwall's interim director of public health, said the most important thing was to continue to suppress cases and bring levels of the virus down, so that there was the potential for a summer similar to last year.

"We managed really well then," she said, but warned that there would be a national exit strategy for the restrictions, which was being talked about next week, and would give a better indication of when sectors may reopen.