TIER 4 holidaymakers hoping to escape restrictions over Christmas on the Isles of Scilly were sent packing by police.
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Devon and Cornwall Police revealed that on Christmas Eve five people from Tier 4 areas arrived at the St Mary’s Airport only to then be sent back home.
In a tweet with a picture of the Isles of Scilly Police team, the Isles of Scilly Police Sergeant confirmed the festive travellers were blocked at the airport.
“Xmas Eve at St Mary’s Airport,” they wrote.
“Five people turned away today having travelled from tier four regions for a holiday.
“We’re proud and protective of being the only tier one region in the country and have been working with Skybus and mainland colleagues to keep it that way.”
Brits are essentially in lockdown in Tier 4 areas which were rolled out by the government in the week before Christmas.
People have been urged not to leave their areas told to stay home.
It is feared travelling from Tier 4 will lead to the new variant of the virus spreading as the UK is seeing record daily cases of up to 39,000 new infections.
The Isles of Scilly is now the last Tier 1 area standing in the whole of the England.
Other areas in the bracket have been bumped up on Boxing Day, with the Isle of Wight moving to Tier 3, while Cornwall and Herefordshire moved to Tier 2.
Pubs and restaurants can remain open on the isles with table service, and up to six people can meet both inside and outdoors.
Steve Sims, 62, a local councillor, said: “It’s a very strange early Christmas present… part of a very, very privileged 0.004%.
“Whilst it is a relief, it’s a very sobering situation and I remain apprehensive as I’m sure most of my fellow islanders will be.
“It’s been a combination of our isolation, a lot of luck and, importantly, a huge amount of hard work by the council’s public health team, transport providers, local businesses and not least the islanders and our visitors taking Covid very seriously.”
He added Scilly has only had two recorded cases of Covid-19 but locals are “certainly not celebrating” as they feel for the rest of the UK.
Mr Sims’ wife, Beth Hilton, edits local magazine Scilly Now & Then and said people on the islands are “very protective” of their low infection rate.
The Isles of Scilly did not have their first positive coronavirus cases until September, months after Britain suffered during the first wave throughout March and April.
With a population of just 2,500 residents, the islands normally welcome about 70,000 holidaymakers each year – with numbers believed to be drastically down due to the virus.
Authorities set up a scheme to evacuate any visitors who tested positive using a boat or helicopter to prevent any further transmission.
During the winter the island’s passenger ferry does not operate and a freight ship runs three times a week.
Steve Watt, a councillor on the Isles of Scilly, warned the BBC last week if there was an outbreak the islands would be “extremely vulnerable”.
Drones have been trialed to ship NHS supplies to the island – with there being hopes to use them to ferry across Covid vaccines.
Millions of Brits woke up to today to find themselves in Tier 4 after the government moved huge swathes of the nation into the highest alert level after Christmas.
Those in the strict Tier 4 in England increased by six million to 24 million people – 43 per cent of the population – in a bid to stop the spread of the mutant Covid.
Millions of people across Britain celebrated a very different Christmas yesterday after Covid cases doubled across the UK.
Cases are up 57 per cent across the UK in just a week, thanks to the increased spread of the new variant which was first found in Kent.
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Despite the very different Christmas, the Queen delivered a heartfelt message of hope to the country in her address on Christmas Day.
She praised the “indomitable spirit” of those who have risen “magnificently” to the challenges of the pandemic.
Professor of Operational Research at University College London ChristinaPagel told Times Radio this morning that ministers need to place the whole of England in Tier 4.
She warned: “Things are getting rapidly worse….We are in an incredibly dangerous situation…”