First, in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported a couple days ago that "[a]s the coronavirus pandemic tightens its grip on California’s largest cities, some residents are fleeing urban sprawl and seeking shelter in isolated communities in the Mojave Desert or rugged Sierra Nevada." So how has that worked out? The New York Post reports today that "Tourists irritate locals by flocking to Joshua Tree National Park amid coronavirus." The article reports:
Officials closed the visitor centers at the popular Joshua Tree National Park, in California’s Coachella Valley, on March 17 in an effort to curb tourist entries due to fears of the coronavirus spreading. Four days later, on March 21, they went further, shuttering campgrounds and paved roads indefinitely.Basically, the homeowner reported having to run people off that were parking on his lawn or trying to set up tents to camp on his law. The article continues, after a bit:
But the tourists didn’t listen, and neighbors are mad.
Hikers and bicyclists — traveling solo or with members of their households — were and are still welcome. But displaced overnight visitors were encouraged to move to public camping areas next to the park or to local RV parks. Those camping in the park were given until noon on March 21 to clear out, and gates to the paved roads were closed by early afternoon.
But hikers didn’t exit the area, local homeowner Brian Rennie told the Palm Springs Desert Sun, they just got creative about where to park their cars. Hundreds of cars lined his street, near Joshua Tree’s main entrance, he said, and took liberties with his lawn.
Other vacation towns in California that have restricted outsiders’ movement to prevent crowds include Mammoth Lakes, a ski town about 300 miles north of Los Angeles whose tourism board this week told nonresidents to keep out.Across the pond, in the UK, the Daily Mail reports that "'Go home rats!' Furious locals in rural towns and villages erect signs and scrawl messages on beaches telling second home owners to leave amid coronavirus outbreak - but many remain defiant and continue their move to countryside." From the article:
Residents of St Ives in Cornwall scrawled a series of messages into the sand on the beach demanding that tourists go home.Something to keep in mind if your plans include bugging out to vacation home or cabin.
Two messages read 'Locals only', while another said 'Tourists please go home'.
In Bala, second home owners were compared to rats in one sign while another message, scrawled on the side of a car, read 'Go home idiots'.
Signs also appeared on a roundabout in Porthcawl, south Wales asking people to turn around.
Meanwhile, a roadside sign in Pembrokeshire also urged non-locals to go home, while a sign in north Wales said: 'Snowdonia is closed. F*** off home!'