Fears visitors from London could speed virus spread
PUBLISHED: 21:00 19 March 2020
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Second home owners have been taking up residence on the Suffolk Coast in a bid to escape the coronavirus hotspot that is London, it is claimed.
Residents in Suffolk’s seaside towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh say they have become increasingly busy in the last few days, with those from London who own second homes in the area taking advantage of the opportunity to escape the capital and the potential of a lockdown,
However, fears have been raised that those arriving from large cities could be unknowingly carrying the virus.
London has been the region in the UK most affected by coronavirus, with more than 1,000 of the nation’s cases confirmed in the capital.
It was announced earlier this week that up to 40 stations on the London Underground network were to close as the city made attempts to contain the spread of the disease.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has already urged employees throughout the UK to work from home if possible and to avoid all unnecessary social gatherings.
aureen Jones, chairman of Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Parish Council, said: “Our concern is that the people coming here are bringing the virus with them.
“People are worried - most of our permanent residents are in their 70s.”
Mike Barber, who lives in Aldeburgh, said the town had become “like Piccadilly Circus”.
He said: “Normally the beach is deserted in the middle of March, but it is now absolutely crowded.
“You can’t get parked and the shelves in the stores have been stripped. There isn’t a local in sight.
“The last thing we want people to do is spread the virus here in Aldeburgh.”
Ian Bradbury, town mayor of Southwold, expressed his concern that the influx was also impact on the supply of food and other commodities.
He said: “The second homeowners are already here and there will be more tomorrow.
“They should think about the impact they will leave on our town. The shelves in shops have been devastated in the last 24 hours.”
He added: “This virus is going to get all of us and the death toll modelling in Suffolk is alarming.
“Southwold is no safer place than anywhere else.”
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