Cornwall hospital bracing for 'New Year's Eve' demand

Emergency department
Image caption Cornwall's emergency department is in Truro, with an urgent care centre in Penzance and nine minor injury units

The emergency department at Cornwall's main hospital is predicting demand "like New Year's Eve" as lockdown restrictions are eased this weekend.

Tourism bosses said about 80,000 people were expected to visit, with many hotels and campsites accepting guests.

Toby Slade, from the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT), urged people to "be sensible about risky activities".

Visitors who fall ill and cannot travel have been warned they will have to pay for accommodation while they isolate.

The RAC said the roads could be as busy as last year's August bank holiday.

Malcolm Bell, from Visit Cornwall, said people need to plan their trips, adding: "If they turn up and the beach is busy, be ready to go on somewhere else."

"There is advice if you fall ill on holiday and more importantly not to travel if you fall ill. It is about the test and trace and the need to travel home by car," he said.

"If they can't travel back safely using their car they will have to pay for their 14 days in isolation. We have to make that clear as the business will be losing trade."

Image caption People are being reminded to socially distance on beaches

The expected influx is about 30% down on usual numbers from last year, but is expected to rise in the coming weeks.

Mr Slade, associate medical director for emergency care at RCHT, said they were "preparing for a very busy weekend coming up".

"It will be what New Year's Eve would be like if New Year's Eve was a whole day of people going on the beach and then going out at night," he said.

"We are asking people to behave sensibly and responsibly."

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