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Local residents raise 'coronavirus concerns' as Scotland staycation numbers rise
31 July 2020, 16:12
Local residents have complained that fire debris, litter and human waste have been left around Loch Lomond as the number of staycations in Scotland rise amid foreign holiday restrictions.
Visitors have been cramming the shoreline of Loch Lomond since Scotland's lockdown restrictions were eased earlier this month.
Even before the pandemic, visitor numbers were steadily rising by around 15 per cent every year. In 2019, more than 4 million visitors came alone.
Locals are now concerned that the area will become even busier since the government imposed restrictions on travel to popular holiday destinations such as Spain.
They say that the visitors are causing "big issues" for them.
In the local village of Luss, residents have reported three times as much traffic as normal in the past month.
They have been forced to erect large signs reading "please keep our village traffic free for pedestrians".
There have also been reports of locals being effectively "trapped in their homes" by visitors who park across their drives and shops being unable to cope with the level of demand.
Fire debris, litter and human waste has also been found due to a rise in wild camping in the area.
Staycations are clearly still on the agenda this summer - as the Prime Minister said he might even squeeze one in himself.
Boris Johnson was asked whether he had "cancelled summer" this year after announcing that a further easing of lockdown across England due on Saturday had been postponed.
Mr Johnson told a Downing Street press conference on the Covid-19 situation that he "may allow" a brief UK staycation to "creep" into his schedule in the coming weeks.
Asked about his own summer plans, the Prime Minister said: "I will be working flat out as you can imagine, though I may allow a brief staycation to creep into the agenda, if that's possible."
Pressed on whether he had "cancelled summer", Mr Johnson said: "I don't think so.
"And I would encourage people still to think of wonderful staycations here in the UK.
"There are all sorts of fantastic destinations, the best in the world, I would say.
"All my happiest holiday memories are of holiday vacations here in the UK, bucket-and-spade jobs or whatever, and I thoroughly, thoroughly recommend it, and I'm sure that people will have a great time over the summer."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he will visit Cornwall this summer for a short break.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps had to cut short a holiday in Spain earlier this month after new quarantine restrictions were imposed on travellers returning from the country by the Government.
During the press conference, Mr Johnson said the country needed to "squeeze that brake pedal" on lockdown easing amid a rise in the prevalence of coronavirus in the community.
Measures due to be lifted on Saturday, including allowing small wedding receptions and reopening bowling alleys and casinos, have been postponed for at least two weeks.
Face coverings will also become mandatory in indoor settings such as museums and places of worship from August 8.
The announcement came after local lockdown measures were announced in parts of the north west of England and parts of West Yorkshire, banning people from different households meeting indoors or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.