Holiday let firm owner ‘in tears’ as daytrippers flock to Norfolk coast

File photo of Sheringham seafront. The coast was busy at the weekend, despite advice that everyone s

File photo of Sheringham seafront. The coast was busy at the weekend, despite advice that everyone should stay away from groups of people. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

One of the owners of a cottage let business said she was “in tears” over how many people had flocked to the coast over the weekend.

Penny Jones, of Sheringham-based Crabpot Cottages, said people had not been heeding the government’s advice on social distancing designed to limit the transmission of the coronavirus.

She said: “The coastal towns were absolutely packed, like a summer bank holiday. I was in tears.

“Normally this would have filled my heart with joy, but not today. We live near Hunstanton and that was just packed.

“The coast road was bumper to bumper. I don’t believe it was holiday makers but locals out for Mothers’ Day.”

Ms Jones said it was “with great sadness and a very heavy heart” that Crabpot Cottages would not take any more bookings until after June 1.

She said: “Many of our future guests have already cancelled.

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“We have worked so hard on our brand and customer service and are so proud of what we have achieved. We won a small business award from Theo Paphitis.

“We were expanding and doing so well. Now like virtually every other small business we are going to have the toughest few months ever. We hope you all stay safe and healthy and look forward so much to hearing our phone ring with lots of bookings when this dreadful time is over.”

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Ms Jones said it would have been “very easy” to encourage people to book properties and come to Norfolk.

She said: “But morally this is unacceptable now. Financially it is going to be very difficult, but we have to protect our local community, and our housekeepers. We only manage a very small amount of properties.”

The government has advised that people should avoid gatherings, large and small, in public places.

Other advice on social distancing includes:

-Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus including high temperature or a new and continuous cough.

-Avoid non-essential use of public transport.

-Work from home.

-Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

-Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

MORE: Ongoing updates on coronavirus in Norfolk here