Authorities are pleading with people not to visit the Lake District ahead of the Easter weekend.

While the communities across the park are struggling with the pandemic and sadly the number of cases in Cumbria is rising.

This has led to the National Park Authority, Cumbria police, Cumbria Tourism, business owners and the voluntary sector asking people to wait to visit the Lake District.

Stressing the importance of staying at home, chief executive of the Lake District National Park, Richard Leafe said: “Please do not visit the Lake District for the day, or come to a holiday home - we will be here to welcome you back as soon as it’s safe to do so and we can’t wait for that time. Thank you to the thousands of people who have taken the advice to stay at home - this really does save lives and helps to protect the Lake District that everyone loves.”

Police have been very clear in their advice to anyone who is thinking about travelling and helping to enforce the rules is assistant chief constable Andy Slattery he said: “If you are considering travelling to a second home or holiday home this weekend for the holidays, I ask you please follow Government guidance and stay at home and only leave when necessary.

“It is clear that holiday homes continue to be advertised in Cumbria and this is attracting holidaymakers. This causes friction with the resident population who are reporting activity to the police and other local authorities. We recognise that some businesses have already withdrawn their advertisements and are not taking bookings and we ask others to follow that lead.

“Travelling unnecessarily to another part of the country to stay in a holiday cottage is contrary to the guidance issued by the government and could result in prosecution.

“This is serious and we need to protect ourselves, our families and to protect our NHS. Every contact we avoid lessens the spread of the virus. This is not forever, and it is a small price to pay for saving lives.

“Those out exercising locally are reminded to consider communities they might come in contact with and stay two metres from others. It is very important to maintain mental and physical health and people are entitled to walk, run or cycle locally but we ask them to avoid passing through farmyards or close to rural homes.”