Cornwall pub owner asks tourists to ‘think of others’ before travelling for pint

A pub owner in Cornwall has asked that people “think of others” before travelling to the Tier 1 county for a drink, amid fears the area could become overwhelmed.

Cornwall is the only area of mainland England that has been placed into the lowest level of measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

In Tier 1, a maximum of six people can meet indoors or outdoors, while hospitality venues may offer table service with last orders at 10pm.

In Tier 2 however, hospitality venues must close unless serving substantial meals with drinks.

Cornwall pub owner Helen Nathan wearing a visor
Cornwall pub owner Helen Nathan wearing a visor

Although people on social media have joked that they will travel to the county in order to go to a pub, the idea does not sit well with some Cornish residents and business owners.

“I’ve been very restrictive on who can come for a drink and ask that they email/message beforehand so I know who they are and where they have come from,” said Helen Nathan, 36, owner of The Kings Arms in Mevagissey.

“As someone who travels a lot for work outside the pub, I’ve been very responsible and not left Cornwall unless it’s been completely necessary since (the) beginning (of) March.

“I hoped that others may do the same, but Mevagissey has never been so busy during September and October.”

Helen Nathan (left) with her husband Kris
Helen Nathan (left) with her husband Kris

Day trippers flocked to beaches across the country in the summer, sparking concerns about how sunseekers would keep to social-distancing measures in places like Cornwall.Asked if there was a fear too many people may travel to the county to go to the pub, Mrs Nathan said: “Yeah. There was post-first lockdown, and the fear seems even more so this time around.”

She asked that people “think of others as well as your own safety before travelling anywhere outside your region”.

Mrs Nathan said that her pub would be opening on “a very restricted basis” but added that she looked forward to the day business could resume as normal.

“Things will, one day, be able to return to folk being able to come into ours and stay until midnight, imbibing responsibly, standing at the bar and having a good old sing song,” she said.

“So many are now starting to realise how big a part pubs play within communities and it feels like for many it’s gone, to never return.”