Thank you to everyone who has contacted me with messages of support for Boris Johnson. I will pass these on. The reality is that Boris, along with a number of senior figures in Government, has been giving every hour God gives for weeks now to try to manage the spread of coronavirus and are physically and mentally exhausted. This is not a good place to be if you go on to contract this dreadful disease. The same is true of the many thousands of others working on the frontline, especially in the NHS and care and I join everybody in gratitude and appreciation for what they are doing to save lives.
I have received a number of emails with concerns about visitors and second home owners. The Government is clear that people should not be leaving their homes apart from for very limited essential purposes e.g. seeking medical help and purchasing essential supplies. The overwhelming majority of holiday accommodation providers have followed official guidance and closed during this emergency period. Some people are travelling to second homes at the moment and are breaching the non-essential travel restrictions. In this instance a report can be made to the Police via 101 or email@example.com so that they can investigate. Concerns relating to holiday accommodation providers such as hotels, letting agents for holiday cottages or bed and breakfast providers can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be forwarded to the relevant Council team so that they can investigate. There are exceptions to the blanket requirement to close, so it is important that people do not jump automatically to conclusions about a particular holiday cottage, hotel or guest house. With regard to holiday accommodation lettings, the Council has issued a statement to be found at https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-news-room/media-releases/news-from-2020/news-from-april-2020/call-to-holiday-lets-to-follow-covid-19-closure-orders
Ahead of the Easter holiday the Council’s enforcement team wrote to all holiday accommodation owners, letting agents and online booking platforms in Cornwall who are not exempt to the COVID-19 orders to ask for their co-operation in complying with the orders. In its letter to accommodation providers Cornwall Council outlines the new legal requirements and where businesses can get further advice. It also warns that businesses can face enforcement action if they flout the orders.
I have nothing but praise for the speedy and effective work of both Government and Cornwall Council in ensuring that Cornish businesses receive more than £281 million in grant funding to help cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Cornwall received by far the biggest share of the £12.3 billion handed out to local authorities from the Small Business Grant and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant funds and within two days of the Government funding becoming available, around 10,000 businesses across Cornwall received a total of £116m in grant funding. I am acutely aware that many businesses fall through this net and I am working with others to press Treasury to find a method to support those that do not fit the criteria. Business owners that do meet the criteria should have received a letter from Cornwall Council and I urge them to apply as soon as possible. If you haven’t received a letter, but believe you’re entitled to support, please get in touch with the Council