AN increase in Covid-19 cases is likely with an “influx” of tourists expected when travel restrictions are lifted by the Welsh Government.

Tenby councillor Michael Williams said there was “already a fear of a huge influx of visitors” and an increase if self-catering bookings had been noted.

He added at Tuesday’s corporate overview and scrutiny committee that although he did not expect to see the usual 60,000 visitors this year there’s “going to be a considerable rapid increase. How are you going to manage people’s safety and fears?”

Cllr Pat Davies added there were similar concerns in the north of the county.

“We’ve got to get back to some sort of normality but people are concerned,” she said.

Richard Brown, head of the environment and civil contingencies said it would be difficult to manage community tensions around the predicted influx of visitors with the concerns of local people due to the “perception of risk.”

He said that people know smoking is a risk but still do it, and while tourism-based businesses will welcome visitors those who do not directly benefit may be warier.

“We have been working with the police, talking about planning arrangements to prevent anything happening like what we saw in Bournemouth,” added Mr. Brown.

A communication campaign using a variety of media was being launched, said cabinet member for transformation, and IT Cllr Neil Prior, based on “unlocking Pembrokeshire with respect.”

It emphasises the need for safety and balancing the need to get the economy going, he said.

“We don’t want people coming down to Pembrokeshire with illness and spreading the illness, that’s not in anybody’s interest,” said Mr. Brown.

Cllr Jacob Williams said he echoed Cllr Williams’s concerns but future planning “might just bear in mind from henceforth it might be one of those things like flu” and coronavirus is not going to go away.

An increase in cases is a concern, with the test, track and trace system part of dealing with that the committee heard, with 84 staff trained, the majority already council staff members, along with working with the tourist industry.

Mr. Brown said: “We want people to come feeling safe and the people here feeling safe.”

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