People have been urged to stay away from tourist sites and beauty spots after the government relaxed rules on driving to open areas – but angry residents say some are ignoring the warnings.
Locals living across the UK are taking things into their own hands by putting up signs telling tourists to ‘go home’ and even installing fake road blocks to ensure people don’t flock to nature reserves during their new unlimited time outdoors as the weather heats up.
People living in rural Scottish villages and glens have been reminding those visiting that Scotland’s strict lockdown rules and message of ‘Stay Home’ remains in place.
Signs and blockades have been erected on single track roads and normally popular destinations, with messages such as ‘go home’ and ‘closed’ written across them.
In the Lochaber community of Applecross, residents placed a large notice along the famous Bealach na Bà road, part of the North Coast 500 route.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live
It read: ‘Attention Visitors! Businesses are closed in Applecross. No food/drink available. Public toilets locked. No facilities. Community isolating – please respect.’
Further north, locals in John O’Groats, Caithness, have placed hay bales, with the words ‘closed’ written across them, to block off the car park at the popular photo spot.
Near Towford, in Roxburghshire, a home-made sign asking visitors to go home to help stop the virus spreading appeared yesterday.
A similar notice in Muthill, Perthshire, asked non-residents to ‘turn around’, with another friendly reminder at the village of Balquhidder, Stirlingshire.
Makeshift warning signs have also been erected by villagers on the route of one of the country’s most popular walks in the Lake District National Park.
Locals have barricaded themselves in to prevent tourists spreading the virus, with farmers putting up plastic fences and signs to stop walkers coming past their houses.
One sign in the village of Seathwaite read: ‘No entry due to coronavirus.’ Another said: ‘Residents and deliveries only. Please stay away.’
Usually on a hot summer’s day in Keswick, at the base of one the main trails to England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike, thousands of walkers park along the road to scale the famous peak.
Brits are allowed to walk again in beauty spots in the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales after Boris Johnson began easing England’s lockdown.
But villagers are scared that tourists could bring the coronavirus with them and have erected the barriers to protect the vulnerable and elderly.
Pete Edmondson, 65, who runs a farm in Seathwaite, is classed as high risk as he is missing part of his lung and suffered pneumonia as a child.
He said: ‘As soon as the coronavirus started we put up signs and barriers to stop people coming through the farmyard.
‘But people have no respect, they’ve been taking no notice whatsoever. It’s really upsetting. I find it very threatening, it keeps going through my mind that if I got Covid-19 it would kill me.’
Residents said only delivery drivers, postal workers and emergency services can get through plastic barriers.
Tourism bosses in the Lake District have also urged Brits to stay out of the national park and only exercise locally, despite the new rules.
Richard Leafe, Lake District National Park chief executive, said: ‘Please don’t travel for the moment to the Lake District because of the impact that you will have on the local communities here.
‘Cumbria already has a fairly high incidence of Covid-19, so there is real concern on the ground about large amounts of people coming back.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].
For more stories like this, check our news page.