CUMBRIA Constabulary has urged would-be tourists to stay away and called on residents of the county to cancel non-essential travel to ‘save lives’.

Assistant chief constable Andrew Slattery, the constabulary’s lead for coronavirus response, said health and social care services in Cumbria would be “stretched to breaking point” by the crisis.

“Large numbers of visitors will only place an additional burden on these hard-pushed professionals,” he said.

“These are unprecedented times and our first priority is the protection of life. People’s lives must come first.”

He added members of the public also had to ask themselves in the coming weeks if travel which would see them come into contact with people was essential.

He said government measures could only be effective if individuals took steps to limit social contact and believed small actions could end up saving lives.