Holidaymakers visiting Cornwall have been told by tourism bosses to get a Covid test ahead of the summer dash.

Visit Cornwall and Cornwall Council are encouraging people to order a pack of lateral flow tests and ensure they are negative before they head to the county.

The advice is in line with government guidance, which says everyone who does not have any virus symptoms should take two weekly rapid tests.

Visit Cornwall has warned that although legal restrictions on social contact have been lifted, "the Covid virus is still out there" and the "hands, face, space" slogan should continue to be adhered to.

"We would suggest that you test yourself and your family before setting out and while you are in Cornwall," the tourist organisation said. "Be aware of the anxiety some may be feeling as they emerge from restrictions, and respect those who choose to wear masks."

Tourists are also encouraged to help ease potential strain on local health services by getting a vaccine when they are able to, bringing their own medication and "calling 111 instead of turning up at a local hospital unless it is a life-threatening emergency".

Although hundreds of thousands are expected to visit Cornwall over summer, they are advised that they should drive elsewhere if a beach is crowded or return at an earlier time the following day.

The current seven-day Covid case rate in Cornwall is 391.9 per 100,000 people, below the national average of 488. However it is still the highest caseload experienced by the region to date, with more than 2,000 infections recorded between July 10 and 16.

Tourists planning a trip to beauty spots such as St Ives have been asked to be 'respectful' and help keep Covid under control in Cornwall

Credit:  Westhoff/ Getty Images Contributor

Rachel Wigglesworth, the director of public health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said: "We’re glad that so many people want to come and spend time in our beautiful county, but we ask that you are respectful and help us to keep the virus under control.

"Please enjoy your holiday and make wonderful memories here because it’s a special place, but remember that our local communities will have to live with the consequences if case numbers increase."

Malcolm Bell, the Visit Cornwall chief executive – who warned people to "stay away" from the county when the first lockdown eased last May 2020 – urged tourists to be "on your guard and patient".

"We ask and hope that everyone on a day trip within Cornwall and the wider region, as well as our staying visitors, that we see this holiday season as a summer of understanding," he said.

"We all need to understand that the virus will have a great summer of spreading infection if we allow it to by not sticking to the guidelines.

"The virus will also cause strains on our public and health services, as well as problems when staff must self-isolate in hospitality, so please be on your guard and be patient and understanding when disruptions happen."

The pleas came  as Cumbria Tourism encouraged businesses to continue to display QR codes in order to allow visitors to check in using the NHS Test and Trace app.

The board also urged venues to turn away anyone who appears to have Covid symptoms.