A GREEN MP has said Brighton and Hove could become a “hotspot” for coronavirus because of its popularity with visitors.

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas issued the warning ahead of a weekend which will see pubs, bars, restaurants and more reopen under loosened lockdown rules.

These will come into effect on July 4, which has been dubbed “Super Saturday” amid fears it will encourage people to flout social distancing rules, increasing the rate of infection across the UK.

READ MORE>>>Boris Johnson reveals what will be allowed to reopen on Saturday

The Argus:

In an open letter to the secretaries of state for health and housing, communities and local government, Ms Lucas expressed her “concerns about public safety in our open spaces in Brighton and Hove”.

As a result, she has asked the Government to pledge more financial support to the city.

She said: “For good reason, the city is a popular destination for visitors.

“Its proximity to London, and position on the coast, along with its large number of independent shops and cafes, creates a unique feel which has long made the city a popular place for day-trippers.

The Argus:

“Research from Visit England shows that the Palace Pier in Brighton has traditionally been the most visited free tourist attraction outside of London, with annual visitor numbers of almost five million, and the city has about 11 million visitors annually.

“While I am a huge champion of all that is brilliant in the city, and I understand the many businesses desperate to re-open and resume trading, I am concerned that visitor numbers could have the potential to compromise public safety if the authorities are not provided with greater support to manage the situation.”

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She referenced the huge influx of visitors to Bournemouth beach as temperatures hit 30C on June 25, with Brighton also hosting thousands on its seafront last as the mercury skyrocketed.

Many left behind huge mounds of litter on the pebbles.

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The Argus:

Ms Lucas said: “It is hugely important that people visiting Brighton and Hove are able to do so safely, that public safety isn’t compromised by social distancing not being possible and that visitor numbers do not undermine the safety and freedoms of local residents.

“The situation in Leicester (where a local lockdown has recently been introduced) further evidences how fragile things remain.

“The risks of Brighton and Hove becoming a hotspot are high because of its popularity with visitors.

“This will not only have a detrimental effect on public health in the city – our unique local economy has not had the level of support it needs from the Government and, with many traders and businesses near collapse, we cannot risk a second wave in Brighton and Hove.”

The Argus:

She argued that more funding needed to be provided to the city council to allow it to manage visitor numbers.

Ms Lucas said: “Local authorities are struggling financially because of the increased financial burden of the health crisis on their budgets, with Brighton and Hove City Council indicating that by the end of June the impact on their budget will be £31 million, far in excess of the emergency response funding it has received to date.

“Additional support to better manage our outside spaces is absolutely vital.”