Just several days after the end of the G7 summit, which saw politicians, delegations and over 5,000 shipped-in security officers travel to Cornwall, England, the region’s coronavirus infection rates have soared.
Since the leaders of the world’s largest industrialised countries and the European Union left, the number of confirmed cases in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly went from 2.8 per 100,000 on the Sunday before the summit to 81.7 per 100,000 on the Sunday after the summit.
The region is now showing some of the highest rates of infection in the UK, according to the government’s interactive Covid-19 map, and lies just below the England average of 75.2 cases per 100,000.
Falmouth, where the world’s media and many protestors were located during the summit, also witnessed a sharp increase in the number of cases, which rose to 382.1 per 100,000 in the week ending 11 June.
“We’re asking anyone working in the hospitality industry to help themselves stay safe and protect their work colleagues by testing twice weekly using rapid lateral flow tests,” Rachel Wigglesworth, director of public health for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, said, according to iNews.
The summit, which took place in the seaside resort of Carbis Bay, was held from 11 to 13 June, following a period when there was also an influx of tourists during the recent school half-term.
Experts have pointed out this may also have had an effect on the figures, however, a similar surge hasn’t been reported in neighbouring tourist areas.
“We are aware of an increase in reported Covid cases in Cornwall, in line with increases in case numbers in many parts of the UK. All attendees of the G7 Summit were tested before arriving in Cornwall and regularly throughout the Summit,” a Downing Street spokesperson told iNews.
“We are not aware of any cases of transmission from delegates to local residents but will continue to monitor the situation in the coming days and weeks.”
Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for health, Andy Virr, has also argued that the current spike of Covid-19 cases in Cornwall is not linked to the G7 summit, according to reports from the Falmouth Packet.
Figures show the Delta variant (previously known as the Indian variant), which has become the dominant strain in the UK, is accounting for most of the new cases, and according to public health consultant Dr Ruth Goldstein, it is hitting the unvaccinated under-30s the hardest.