Coronavirus: Somerset tourism boss pleads with visitors to stay away

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Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare
Image caption,
The Grand Pier in Weston has been closed during the outbreak

The boss of Somerset's tourism organisation has pleaded with visitors to stay away from the county.

John Turner, from Visit Somerset, said "people are dying" amid the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

"We are saying to all visitors to postpone your visit" and help "take pressure" off public services, he said.

There are currently 12 confirmed cases in the county out of a population of 559,399 with a further 16 in the Bath area and North Somerset.

Attractions closed

One person has died with coronavirus at the Royal United Hospital in Bath.

The government has asked pubs, clubs and restaurants to close and has urged people to socially isolate themselves.

Visitor attractions in the area - such as the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare, Wookey Hole near Cheddar and the Fleet Air Arm Museum - have closed down.

"We think it's got to that stage now," Mr Turner said.

"People are dying and essentially what we need to do now is that we take the pressure off of the public services in the short term.

"We'll all come back stronger in the end."

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