Cornwall Council’s Public Health team is urging all residents and visitors to Cornwall to make testing a priority as the number of Covid-19 cases continues to rise.

It said the increase is due to a combination of factors including the lifting of national restrictions and the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant, as well as the high number of visitors and the abundance of hospitality venues in tourist destinations such as Falmouth and Newquay, where people can mix.

The council said it was "still too early to gauge" the final impact of the Boardmasters festival, but the council said as more data becomes available its Public Health team is "expecting the event to have contributed to the increase in case numbers", particularly amongst young people.

However, it added Covid cases in Newquay were high before the festival and the current high case rate in the town cannot be attributed to Boardmasters.

Rachel Wigglesworth, director of Public Health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: “Covid cases have been rising steadily across Cornwall over recent weeks – particularly in our tourist hotspots. This is an inevitable consequence of the lifting of restrictions and the Delta variant’s increased transmissibility. It is quite a different picture to last summer.

“Of course, big events and mass gatherings like Boardmasters are now permitted and our Public Health team worked closely with the organisers over many weeks to ensure the event was as Covid-safe as possible, with measures going above and beyond national guidance.

“We will continue to monitor the data as it becomes available, but we expect the festival will have contributed to the rise in cases we’re currently seeing.

“That’s why we’re continuing to encourage everyone to get both of their jabs as soon as they can as this not only protects themselves but also diminishes the virus’s ability to spread.

“Our advice to residents, visitors and anyone who attended Boardmasters also remains the same – if you have Covid symptoms then isolate immediately and book a PCR test. If you have no symptoms, please continue to test twice a week with rapid Lateral Flow Tests which are available for free from pharmacies or can be delivered to your home.

“It is also advisable to wear a face covering in crowded areas, indoors or on public transport, keep your distance from other people where possible, and wash and/or sanitise your hands regularly.”