CUMBRIA’S Assistant Chief Constable is pleading with people to stay at home after officers found adverts for 300 Lake District homes to rent this week.

The warning came as another five people were confirmed dead due to coronavirus at Cumbria’s two NHS trusts.

NHS England figures for Sunday show three died at hospitals ran by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust – which operates the Furness General Hospital in Barrow – and two more at the North Cumbria Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust – which runs the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

It brings the total number of deceased to 43 at the North Cumbria trust and 62 at the Morecambe Bay Trust.

In England, a further 403 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died, bringing the total number of confirmed reported deaths in hospitals to 4,897.

Patients were aged between 35 and 106 years old, with 15 of the 403 patients (aged between 52 and 94 years old) having no known underlying health condition.

In recent days Cumbria Constabulary has received reports from the Lake District National Park Authority and local councillors about holiday homes available for rent.

“We’ve done some research on Airbnb and there were 300 properties advertised for occupation this Friday,” explained Assistant Chief Constable, Andy Slattery.

“A number of these had reviews all the way through March. People saying it is a great place to self-isolate, which is in direct contravention of the Government guidance.

“Clearly people who are coming to the Lake District who don’t live locally are travelling unnecessarily.”

Despite some people flouting the Government’s social distancing restrictions, the Assistant Chief Constable is pleased with the response overall.

“The public at large understands, the majority are adhering and I am pleased they are. Most people in Cumbria understand it is about protecting the vulnerable and protecting the NHS.”

He acknowledged there were some areas where adherence could be improved.

“We have had a very positive response in the county. The Lake District has been very quiet, but we have still got reports of people meeting in parks, but we can’t be everywhere around the county.”

The Assistant Chief Constable insists this is an issue for everyone, not just police.

“Across agencies we are working effectively together and we have all got the same message, ‘don’t come to the Lake District, stay at home’.

“That is a collective message. This isn’t a police issue, we need to come together as a county, do the right thing to stop the spread and adhere to the Government guidance and save lives.”