Sad summer – Holiday resorts need tourists but don’t want them | Britain

Sad summer – Holiday resorts need tourists but don’t want them | Britain

May 28th 2020PADSTOW AND ORKNEYEditor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For mo

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Editor’s note: Some of our covid-19 coverage is free for readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. For more stories and our pandemic tracker, see our coronavirus hub

ON A BALMY day in the half-term holidays, a local man in late middle age sits on a bench at the top of a hill in Padstow, greeting everyone who passes by. “Afternoon!” he bellows each time. “Lovely weather!” Then, “Where’ve you come from, then?” or, occasionally, “What are you up to, then?” Few have come far, and they are not up to much. This Cornish town, where every second cottage seems to have the telltale key safe of a holiday let, is nearly empty. The benches on either side of the man, who confesses to being bored by lockdown, are deserted. Hardly any boats disturb the estuary. The seagulls remain ready to pounce, but the ice-cream shops and chippies that supply their prey are mostly shut.

That could soon change. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has warned against “big, lavish, international” holidays this summer. The government’s decision that from June 8th most incomers to Britain, including those returning from holidays, will have to self-isolate for a fortnight should boost demand for small, frugal, domestic ones. If the virus is spreading at a low enough rate, the government plans to allow much of the hospitality sector to re-open in July so…



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