Several traders in Scarborough, Filey and Whitby shut their doors during coronavirus outbreak

Several traders in Scarborough, Filey and Whitby have shut their doors to encourage people to follow social distancing advice.

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 10:34 am

Although the Government has said cafes and restaurants can operate as take away services and shops can still open, some in the area have taken the decision to close.

They include Peaches ‘n’ Cream tea room at Peasholm Gap, who said on Saturday afternoon: “After thinking about it all day and not much sleep we’ve decided that it’s best for everyone if we close altogether.

“Thanks for everyone that came down today. We just feel the Government have closed all these places for a reason, to stay at home, so that’s what we are going to do.”

Scarborough seafront. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

Great Reads of Whitby said it would be considering a delivery service instead: “Following an alarmingly busy weekend in Whitby we feel we now have no option but to close our doors to the public in order to protect both staff and customers.

“We will be looking at setting up a delivery service in the Whitby area via our Facebook page”

And Tides Cafe at Sandsend said: “We tried to educate the importance of maintaining social distance but unfortunately we cannot be responsible for anyone but ourselves. Today we closed early. It is with heavy heart that we are closing our doors for the foreseeable.

“The number of tourists we have seen in the area this weekend has left us no choice but to close altogether. This misconception that the outdoor spaces and fresh air we are fortunate enough to call home will keep us safe has been alarming and the responsible thing for all to do is close to stop the idiocy.

“We hope everyone stays safe, follows the guidance and hopefully we will then be through the other side as soon as possible.”

It comes after concerns at the weekend that visitors were flocking to the Yorkshire Coast, creating crowds and queues outside businesses.

John Senior, chairman of the South Bay Traders Association Scarborough, urged his members to close immediately in order to remove the temptation for unnecessary gatherings and help support the fight against the coronavirus.

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, also voiced his concern: “I am appalled that after the Government took the tough decision to close pubs, restaurants and cafes, places like Whitby are packed with tourists.

“Don't people realise how serious this is? Unless we behave responsibly and don't spread the disease, many more people will die.”

Some irate residents have even taken to create signs telling visitors to “go home, save lives” and placing them on the main roads into the east coast’s towns.