AS the half term holidays approaches people in Cumbria are again being encouraged to ‘think local and buy local’ to support Cumbria’s shops, bars, cafes, hotels and visitor attractions.

The Government’s recently-introduced three tier restrictions for COVID-19 will affect what people can and cannot do in half term, with those people living in ‘Very High’ locations, known as tier three areas, now being advised that they should only leave their area for work and education.

This could impact on the numbers visiting Cumbria, but it doesn’t stop local people from taking advantage of the range of shops, hospitality venues and visitor attractions on their doorstep next week.

Jo Lappin, Chair of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) of the Local Resilience Forum, responsible for developing the economic response to COVID-19, said: “Most of Cumbria is listed within tier 1, Medium level alert, which carries no travel restrictions. This means it’s the ideal time for people in Cumbria to have a staycation and sample all that the county has to offer.

“Now that many of those that would look to come to Cumbria are advised not to travel, our businesses would really appreciate support. It would provide a real boost to our local businesses after what has already been a very difficult year for many of them.

“We very much look forward to a time when we can safely welcome back all of our friends to Cumbria to enjoy our exceptional visitor offer.

“In the meantime, we can all continue to do our bit by supporting our local businesses whenever and wherever we can, whether it’s a visit to your local shop or café or a half term staycation in one of our fabulous visitor locations.”

Barrow is the one area within Cumbria subject to tier 2 – High alert level – guidelines.

Mrs Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “Even in the Barrow area, where people are being urged to reduce the number of journeys they undertake and other restrictions apply, it’s still possible to make a difference.

“Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure manner, other than those that must be closed in law. These businesses really will need our support more than ever in the weeks and months ahead.”