Fears that the G7 summit in Cornwall may have triggered a coronavirus outbreak are continuing to grow, after five venues were forced to shut over the weekend because of cases.
Three hotels, a cafe and hotel bar in St Ives — the town closest to the main venue of Carbis Bay — were temporarily closed due to Covid.
The leaders of the UK, US, Canada, Japan, France, Germany and Italy descended on the region on Friday for the three-day summit, along with their teams, security staff, journalists and protesters.
But there were concerns the event could trigger a spike in infections because of the huge influx. Locals have called the situation ‘really worrying’.
At least five hospitality venues in St Ives have closed following Covid outbreaks or concerns about rising case numbers following the G7 summit
Department of Health data shows cases in the region are beginning to rise, with 89 people testing positive on Friday and 45 on Saturday. For comparison, the average stood at around five each day at the start of June. However, this data is currently incomplete due to a lag in reporting. The true figure for positive tests over the weekend will increase over the next few days
The Lifeboat Inn and Pedn Olva, hotels owned by Staustell Brewery, state on their websites that they are temporarily closed.
Staustell Brewery told the BBC on Thursday that it decided to close Pedn Olva after some of its staff caught the virus.
It said the hotel — which was reportedly hosting media and security workers for the G7 — will reopen after conducting a deep clean and once it has enough staff to operate.
Local newspapers reported that signs in the windows of the Lifeboat Inn say that the pub has temporarily closed.
Porthgwidden Beach Cafe told the Guardian it decided to shut due to uncertainty over local Covid cases, while the bar at the Western Hotel has also closed.
The number of people infected with Covid-19 in Cornwall and Isles of Scilly hit 89 on Friday, but no deaths have been recorded since May 19. Meanwhile, 76.8 per cent of people have received their first dose and 60.8 per cent have received their second
Images of world leaders gathered together on the sands of Carbis Bay in Cornwall for the G7 barbecue drew anger from the wedding industry who have been left in limbo about whether large gatherings will be allowed to take place again
According to the newspaper, another undisclosed hotel situated in the harbour has also closed. Local staff claimed it was because of Covid.
MailOnline has approached all five of the venues.
It comes after staff from JD Wetherspoon were drafted in from Newcastle to Newquay last week to work at a pub near the summit after a Covid outbreak forced staff to isolate.
Two police officers who were working at the the summit, drafted in from other forces, also tested positive for the virus, causing others to self-isolate.
Wetherspoon move bar staff from Newcastle to Cornwall to run G7 pub after four workers test positive for Covid and rest of workforce are sent into isolation
Staff working at JD Wetherspoon were transported across the country to work at a pub near the G7 summit after a covid outbreak forced the regular team to isolate.
Workers had to travel to Cornwall to keep the Towan Blystra Pub in Newquay open after four members of the usual team at the pub tested positive for coronavirus.
It is understood that the staff who were brought in to fill the gap came from other Wetherspoon pubs, with some coming from as far away as Newcastle on Tyne.
Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘In accordance with NHS guidelines, these employees are required to self-isolate for the requisite ten-day period.
‘As a precaution, in accordance with public health guidelines, 19 other members of staff who may have come into close contact with the employees who tested positive have also been asked to self-isolate for 10 days.
‘We are working closely with Cornwall Council, Public Health England and other relevant authorities and have followed their advice in relation to the cases.
‘We have not been asked to close the pub and it remains open.
‘In order to support the pub, given the number of employees self – isolating, additional experienced Wetherspoon managers and staff from a number of our pubs, both in Cornwall and beyond, have worked at the pub since the 4th June.’
The pub is five miles from Newquay airport where attendees and staff flew in for the G7 summit.
The G7 is a group comprising of the world’s seven largest advance economies, and includes the UK, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The summit is the main event of the year, when the groups come together to discuss the big issues of the day.
The nations signed what the Carbis Bay Declaration, after the Cornish resort where the summit is being held.
As part of the strategy, Britain will build a £25million animal vaccine centre to halt the spread of new diseases and therefore prevent them from jumping to humans.
Devon and Cornwall police said in a statement that a testing regime put in place for the event detected the cases.
An Extinction Rebellion protester also caught the virus and tested positive while at its campsite on the outskirts of the town.
The group called on the G7 nations to take action on the climate crisis, insisting they were ‘largely responsible’ for it.
Cornwall is just one authority for the Government, making it hard to pinpoint exactly where any spike in coronavirus cases is situated.
Department of Health data shows cases in the region are beginning to rise, with 89 people testing positive on Friday and 45 on Saturday. For comparison, the average stood at around five each day at the start of June.
However, this data is currently incomplete due to a lag in reporting. The true figure for positive tests over the weekend will increase over the next few days.
Cases were already starting to increase before the summit, statistics also show. The number of weekly Covid cases per 100,000 people increased from 3.3 on May 31 to 19.2 by June 8.
But no deaths have been recorded in the area for nearly a month and over 76 per cent of people have had their first dose of the vaccine.
Liberal Democrat MP Andrew George, who was elected to Cornwall Council in May, called on the government to publish its risk analysis and scientific advice for the summit.
In a post on his website earlier this month, he said it would be ‘better to conduct the summit online than to take irresponsible risks’.
He said most G7 invitees came from amber list countries and if they did not follow government advice to quarantine it would be seen as the Barnard Castle ‘one rule for us’ approach.
Mr George told the Guardian that he did not think the leaders of the seven countries were ‘vectors’ for the disease, but other people associated with the even, such as security, police and the media, have been ‘intermixing’.
Theatre director Sarah Green told the Guardian that ‘it’s getting really worrying’.
She said there had been a lot of tourists in the area, so it was hard to know the summit’s impact on rising case numbers, but there had been a ‘massive influx’ of support workers coming in from big cities.
It comes after images of world leaders gathered together on the sands of Carbis Bay drew anger from the wedding industry, which has been left in limbo about whether large gatherings will be allowed to take place again.
No10 denied the feast on Saturday breached current Covid rules – which allow 30 people to gather together outside.
Weddings are also limited to just 30 guests, although there had been plans to lift those restrictions on numbers next week.
But concerns over the Indian variant of the virus have prompted ministers to reassess the roadmap, with Boris Johnson suggesting he will delay the initial plan.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council told MailOnline that it is aware of confirmed Covid cases at a ‘small number of hospitality venues’, but ‘no venues have been asked to close’.
The businesses are ‘working closely’ with Cornwall Council’s Public Health team and Public Health England South West to prevent further transmission, they said.
‘While Covid-19 cases remain relatively low in Cornwall, we are now seeing a sharp rise in case numbers.
‘This reflects the national picture over the past fortnight, following changes in the Roadmap on 17th May.’