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Cornwall, inundated with music fans and holidaymakers as many turn their backs on overseas travel, is bearing the brunt of an increase in coronavirus infections in the UK.

Cases have more than doubled in a week, while the region has twice the UK average: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly reported 808 cases per 100,000 population in the week to August 21, according to the latest government data , compared to the UK average of 344. The South West County recorded 4,650 people with Covid-19, up 109.4% from the previous week.

Hotspots within this hotspot include St Ives and Halsetown, where 1,121 people per 100,000 are estimated to be infected. In Newquay East, a popular surfing destination, the figure rose to 2,237 per 100,000.

In Towednack, Lelant and Carbis Bay, where G7 leaders and world media met in June, an estimated 622 people out of 100,000 are infected. A month ago, 262 out of 100,000 people had the virus.

Some 4,700 people are believed to have contracted Covid-19 during the Boardmasters festival, which was held between August 11 and 15 in St Columb Minor and Porth, where 728 people per 100,000 are believed to be infected.

The increase in cases is due to the lifting of national restrictions, the high number of visitors and “the abundance of places of reception in tourist destinations,” said the departmental council.

Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall, reportedly warned holidaymakers this week to avoid the area.

Young people are behind the increase in Cornwall cases: around 5,318 per 100,000 young people aged 15 to 19 returned at least one positive Covid-19 test result in the week to August 21, according to official figures.

This compares to a case rate of 562 among 40- to 44-year-olds and 147 per 100,000 among 65- to 69-year-olds over the same seven-day period.


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