Concerns are growing that St Ives may face a surge in Covid cases as the G7 summit ends with venues of hospitality, police officers and a protest camp, all reporting cases of the virus.
At least five locations in St Ives, the city closest to the top of the headquarters, Carbis Bay, have closed or are limiting their operations due to cases.
Two policemen have tested positive and a protester at an Extinction Rebellion camp is also isolated.
Andrew George, who speaks on behalf of the Liberal Democrats in Cornwall on health, said he was concerned about the cases.
He said he did not believe leaders were “vectors” for Covid. “But other people associated with the G7: the security personnel, the police, the media have mixed.”
Before the event, George had asked the UK government to publish advice on the possibility of the summit leading to a Covid spike, but said he had refused on security grounds. “We will not know all the consequences of what has been happening for possibly fifteen days.”
Among the places that have closed or restricted their activity are the Pedn Olva hotel and the Lifeboat Inn. The Porthgwidden Beach Cafe said it had decided to close its doors “due to uncertainty about local Covid-19 cases.”
The bar at the Western Hotel was closed and another hotel by the harbor had a note pinned to the window that read: “Closed until further notice.” Staff at nearby locations said it was also closed due to Covid.
Sarah Green, a theater director who also runs an online business that trains the NHS, said: “It’s getting really worrying.”
He said it was difficult to know how much the G7 was to blame, as there were also many tourists in the city. “But there has been a massive influx of support workers into the city from the major cities,” he said.
There has also been a case in the Extinction Rebellion camp. It read: “Prior to this meeting, Extinction Rebellion had conducted a comprehensive safe risk assessment for Covid. A full liaison with the Devon and Cornwall police was carried out up to the gold commander level. Extinction Rebellion’s main camp has been set up safely for Covid.
“An individual informed us of an isolated suspected case of Covid. Lateral flow tests were performed and were positive. Subsequently, this person left the site. Contact tracing has been done and all identified contacts have had negative lateral flows and are now self-isolating. “
Meanwhile, an organizer for a food bank in St. Ives said he expected life to become more difficult for the poorer local population because the focus on the city would likely lead to rising house prices.
The Rev. Chris Wallis said that last year the food bank provided more than 100,000 meals to the local population. “The G7 shows Cornwall, but it will make poverty worse,” he said. “House prices have already risen because people are moving from the cities to the countryside. As more people move here, it will be more difficult for the local population to find a home. “
Property website Rightmove reported that searches for Carbis Bay doubled when the summit opened and last week a single parking space was sold for £ 45,000.
Two of the St Ives food bank users live in a caravan after their private owner took them out. Wallis said she is also facing losing her home because the landlord believes she can get more rent for it.
It didn’t help that the food bank’s distribution center was in a chapel within the G7’s steel ring, meaning that two weeks of food had to be delivered to people before the summit began.
Wallis said: “It is good that they are meeting to discuss climate change and recovery from the pandemic, but holding the summit in Cornwall will probably make things worse here.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism