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Hotel to halt 2020 bookings after influx of guests from ‘high risk’ Covid areas

PUBLISHED: 06:00 14 October 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 14 October 2020

The Mill Inn, Aldeburgh has stopped all holiday bookings until 2021. Picture: Wendy Turner

The Mill Inn, Aldeburgh has stopped all holiday bookings until 2021. Picture: Wendy Turner

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A busy pub and hotel in Aldeburgh has stopped holiday bookings until 2021 after seeing a huge influx of people from high risk coronavirus areas.

David Beavan on the pier in Southwold.  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNDavid Beavan on the pier in Southwold. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Mill Inn took to Facebook to announce their update which they say has been caused by “irresponsible” people travelling to Suffolk from areas with higher coronavirus rates, particularly from the North.

The decision has come as tourism bosses call on people from high risk areas to stay away from East Anglia.

Landlady Karen Carver said numbers of out-of-county customers has risen since the government announced further lockdowns across the UK.

She said: “We immediately saw an increase in people ringing to book here after the government’s announcement.

The Mill Inn, Aldeburgh has stopped all holiday bookings until 2021. Picture: Wendy TurnerThe Mill Inn, Aldeburgh has stopped all holiday bookings until 2021. Picture: Wendy Turner

“We have to ask them where they are travelling from and we have seen people from Leicester and Yorkshire and Leeds.

“They are panicking about getting a last minute holiday in.

“Me and my husband are both in the vulnerable group so we said we’ve had enough.

“I just think it’s selfish that they are still heading down to have holidays in Suffolk from those at risk areas.”

The Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Pete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Larking Gowen Tourism survey results seminar. Pete Waters of Visit East Anglia. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Miss Carver said that the pub will still welcome those from Suffolk with “open arms”.

However, she expected the business to take a “hit” after ending bookings.

The business also just injected thousands to renovate their rental rooms.

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“I think it’s inevitable that Suffolk will go up into the higher categories if people from the north come down here,” she added.

“It is a ticking time bomb and it is irresponsible because it’s been advertised so much that Suffolk is low risk, everyone thinks they should come here because it’s safe. It won’t stay safe.”

Pete Waters, executive director of Visit East of England, which promotes tourism across the East, said those thinking of travelling from areas with high infection levels should stay away.

He said: “We would discourage people from travelling from locked-down areas. If they could refrain from coming that would be appreciated, we’ll still be here next year. They need to think about the people who live here.”

David Beaven, district councillor for Southwold said he was “worried” about the influx of people from tier two - or high risk - areas.

He added that Christmas could also see a huge rise in visitors.

“It’s not just that people are coming from higher infection areas, it’s the amount of people we will have here at Christmas,” he said.

“We have done quite well so far, but we have to be careful about holiday makers having more than six in homes.

“It could be the equivalent to our university freshers week here, if everyone came down at Christmas and had big parties in their houses, that could be a problem.

“We are doing all we can and the message is be careful.”


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