I have a lot of sympathy with tourism and mountain rescue bosses who are urging people to stay away from the Lake District at the present time.

The Government’s own message, shown in a full page advertisement on page 15 of the Gazette, lists as the first thing we must do to control the infection “Stay at home as much as possible”.

And yet the Government have said that there is no limit to the distance people may travel to take exercise, effectively declaring open season on National Parks, coastal resorts and other beauty spots.

These contradictory messages are not helpful to anyone.

Surely we all need to remember that going out to take exercise is still one of a very limited number of exceptions to the rule that we should stay at home.

It should not be seen as a licence for general leisure pursuits and day trips.

This virus can and does kill, and people providing vital services locally should not be exposed to increased risk from such activities.

However, the message to stay away might be more effective if coupled with some indication of when, or subject to what conditions, people will be welcome back to the Lakes.

This cannot be when we are totally safe from Covid-19.

The World Health Organisation have said it is probable that the disease will never be eradicated.

That chance has been missed, and humanity is going to have to live with Covid-19, as it does with other diseases like influenza.

But it might help people be patient if leaders of public and voluntary services say in what circumstances the Lakes will be open again.

Richard Daly

Storth Road