Cornwall said it still “welcomes visitors” from Tier 2 areas, despite concerns people may travel there to take advantage of looser restrictions on pubs.
Malcolm Bell, chief executive of Visit Cornwall, said the county had only seen a 10% rise in visitor numbers following last week’s announcement that it would be one of only three parts of England to be placed into Tier 1 rules.
Following the lifting of the first national lockdown in July, traffic to the area “doubled overnight”, Mr Bell said.
However, he said that fears of an influx to the area this time had yet to be realised.
Cornwall is the only part of mainland England to have been placed in Tier 1 — which has some of the loosest restrictions and allows households to mix indoors up to a maximum of six people — alongside the Isle of Wight and the Isles of Scilly.
Mr Bell told the PA news agency: “We coped with 180,000-200,000 extra people in August with no rise in infection rate.
“The maximum we would talk about this time of year is 20,000 if that. So people would be welcome as long as they abide by the rules. And the age profiles of people visiting this time of year, they are likely to be most compliant.”
Anyone travelling from a Tier 2 area would have to follow the same rules as the area they came from, including a ban on household mixing — meaning families not living together could not share accommodation.
— Visit Cornwall B2B (@VC_B2B) November 28, 2020
Those living under Tier 3 restrictions have been asked not to travel to the region.
Mr Bell said: “For the pubs, it’s better in Cornwall because locals can go without having to eat a substantial meal or a Scotch egg any time they buy a pint.
“The challenge comes in the evening when you live near the border — because people can walk across the boundary.
“But you can tend to spot visitors.”
Devon and Cornwall Police have launched 10 extra patrol cars to ensure the rules are followed in the area.
A spokesperson for the force said their “sole purpose will be to respond to Covid-related matters and these vehicles are additional to current response levels”.
Over Christmas, there is a five-day period where three households in the UK can bubble up.
Mr Bell said: “People need to realise once you’ve created your bubble, that’s it.
“We would say, be sensible — a Tier 3, Tier 2 and Tier 1 bubble, surely that’s taking quite a bit of risk. We would also ask people, if you are coming down, put extra precautions up between now and when you want to leave. Don’t go visiting everybody beforehand and then come down.
“If we stick to the rules and semi-self-isolate in the run-up to Christmas, maybe the great peak afterwards won’t be as great.”