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Cornwall, inundated with music fans and holidaymakers as many turn their back on trips abroad, is bearing the brunt of a surge in coronavirus infections in the UK.

Cases have more than doubled from a week ago, while the region has twice the UK average: Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly reported 808 cases per 100,000 people in the week to August 21, the latest government data show, compared with the UK average of 344. The southwestern county recorded 4,650 people with Covid-19, up 109.4 per cent on 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 has risen to 2,237 per 100,000.

In Towednack, Lelant and Carbis Bay, where G7 leaders and the world’s media gathered in June, 622 people per 100,000 are estimated to be infected. A month ago, 262 people per 100,000 had the virus.

Some 4,700 people are thought to have picked up Covid-19 while at Boardmasters festival, meanwhile, which was held between August 11 and 15 in St Columb Minor and Porth, where 728 people per 100,000 are estimated to be infected.

The increase in cases was due to the lifting of national restrictions, the high number of visitors and the “abundance of hospitality venues in tourist destinations”, the county council said.

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

Young people are driving the rise in cases in Cornwall: an estimated 5,318 per 100,000 15- to 19-year-olds returned at least one positive Covid-19 test result in the week to August 21, the official figures show.

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

About Wanda Dufresne

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