'THE rules apply to everyone'.

That is the warning as people in Cumbria continue to flout lockdown and ‘outrageous’ holiday let owners encourage people to ignore coronavirus regulations and head to the Lake District.

The numerous reports of people ignoring Government advice to stay indoors this week included a 14-year-old girl who received a court date after being “caught twice unnecessarily in Kendal town centre” with her parents and telling officers the rules “didn’t apply to her.”

A picture taken by the canal in Kendal on Saturday shows a path dangerously crowded path, with pedestrians, cyclists and dog-walkers all vying for space, while Kendal Town Football Club has received numerous reports of groups of children playing on its Parkside Road football pitch.

And there is great concern about the coming weekend with pictures of large gatherings at Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, and Bowness-on-Windermere from the last bank holiday still fresh in the minds of many, and confirmed coronavirus fatalities across Cumbria rising above the 100 mark this week.

As of yesterday, the official total to have died in the county stands at 125 and across England at 6,483.

This is despite the majority of people adhering to lockdown regulations, with Cumbria Constabulary repeatedly praising those who had remained indoors and posting pictures of empty streets on social media.

The force, however, was earlier in the week compelled to remind people to follow lockdown regulations after it was revealed there were still hundreds of homes to let in the Lake District - a situation which Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron said “beggars belief”.

“We’ve also seen outrageous examples of holiday let owners actively encouraging people who are in the high-risk category to ignore the Government’s medical advice and travel up to the Lakes,” said Mr Farron, who is currently self-isolating with what he suspects is coronavirus. “Most holiday lets will be able to access a £10,000 lump sum as part of the small business grant fund – so there is no reason to be putting lives at risk here.”

Andrew Slattery, assistant chief constable (ACC) of Cumbria Constabulary, warned that those who flew in the face of Government advice and came to stay in a holiday cottage in Cumbria this weekend could face prosecution.

Only yesterday in Windermere a camper van from Devon was turned around and escorted by police back to the M6, while last Thursday a man his twenties was revealed to have driven for more than an hour to the town because he “liked the roads” around there.

“(The situation) 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,” said ACC Slattery. “Those out exercising locally are reminded to consider the local communities they might come in contact with and stay two metres from others.”

He also appealed to people to “remain calm” and “avoid seeking to blame other groups for the situation” as ‘animosity’ between members of the community was ‘counter-productive’.

ACC Slattery’s sentiments were echoed by Cllr Giles Archibald, the leader of South Lakeland District Council.

“Much as we normally welcome visitors to our wonderfully scenic area, this weekend and during the period of Government restrictions, we are asking visitors to follow the guidelines and stay at home,” he said.

“When this is all over, the Lake District will still be here. We want to ensure that by staying safe as many people as possible will be around to enjoy it.”

Hilary McGrady, director general of the National Trust, also urged people not to travel this Easter and instead asked them to celebrate the holiday at home.

“We know how sad our members and visitors are that they can’t travel to their favourite places,” she said.

“But our biggest priority has to be staying at home to help our NHS.”

THE public has been called upon to stay away from Cumbria and ‘save lives’ this bank holiday amid reports that some people are still flouting lockdown regulations.

“This will be an Easter like no other, but we urge visitors and second home owners to listen to the Government and to stay in their main residence,” said Eric Robson, president of Cumbria Tourism.

“This is vitally important not only to limit the spread of the disease but also to safeguard Cumbria’s local health services and infrastructure, which may well come under immense pressure.”

Though the majority of people seem to be taking the Government’s advice and staying indoors - with Cumbria Police posting numerous pictures of empty streets and roads on social media - some are still disobeying regulations.

Police reported a man in his twenties was stopped along Newby Bridge Road in Windermere having driven for more than an hour from Cleator Moor, West Cumbria, because he ‘liked the roads’. A Cumbria Constabulary spokesman said he had no insurance, no licence and added: “Liking the roads isn’t really a necessary journey. The driver will now have to attend court.”

And only yesterday a camper van which had travelled from Devon was also stopped, again in Windermere.

Police reported the occupants were given “words of advice and escorted back to the M6 to go home.”

In Kendal, there have also been reports of people ignoring Government regulations.

A 14-year-old and her parents were “caught twice unnecessarily in Kendal town centre.” A police spokesman said: “She stated to officers that the rules don’t apply to her. Unfortunately for her they do and can now tell that to a court.”

And George Gudgeon, chairman of Kendal Town Football Club, said the club had received numerous calls from members of the public who had seen children playing on its Parkside Road football pitch.

Mr Gudgeon said: “They shouldn’t be on there should they. It’s quite simple. We are on lockdown as well aren’t we. They shouldn’t be out messing around in groups and it’s trespassing anyway.”

Ahead of bank holiday weekend, assistant chief constable (ACC) Andrew Slattery pleaded with people from outside Cumbria to not to be tempted to visit. Pictures of gatherings at Bowness and Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, during the last bank holiday were shared widely on social media.

“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,” said ACC Slattery.

“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.”

The calls to would-be tourists to stay away were echoed by Jan Nicholson, joint owner of Kendal Hostel, which has closed during the coronavirus crisis.

“If the weather’s good, unfortunately I think they will be tempted,” she said.

“Please stay away. Please do not use our resources that are already stretched to the limit. The Lakes is closed.”

Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of South Lakeland District Council, said: “Much as we normally welcome visitors to our wonderfully scenic area, this weekend and during the period of Government restrictions, we are asking visitors to follow the guidelines and stay at home.

“When this is all over, the Lake District will still be here.

“We want to ensure that by staying safe as many people as possible will be around to enjoy it.”

The National Trust has encouraged people to celebrate Easter from the security of their homes, offering videos and activities on its website.

The charity’s parks, gardens, houses and car parks were all closed last month.