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Dornoch sends out message to stay away from town - but urges visitors to postpone holidays not cancel

By Caroline McMorran

A popular Sutherland tourist spot has issued a public plea to visitors not to holiday or travel to the town amid the current coronavirus crisis.

VisitDornoch has placed a post on its website urging anyone who has booked or is thinking about making a trip to the area over the next few weeks to stay at home.

Dornoch Cathedral. Picture: Marion Timperley, via Wikimedia Commons.
Dornoch Cathedral. Picture: Marion Timperley, via Wikimedia Commons.

But its message is not to cancel holidays but to postpone them.

It follows concern about visitors continuing to travel into the Highlands.

With its unspoilt, award winning beach and championship golf course, Dornoch is a major draw for tourists.

The statement reads: “In the growing coronavirus pandemic, it is with regret that we must ask our loyal visitors to stay at home and not come to your beloved Dornoch until the crisis has passed.

“We know you care for our town and community so will honour our request."

VisitDornoch points out there are fewer than 3000 people in its IV25 postcode and medical services are geared to that level of population.

The statement continues: “Raigmore Hospital serves the Highland population of 320,000 and only has seven intensive care unit beds. Our medical resources will be stretched. People will die. Please help us by not adding to our ‘temporary’ population this year.

“If you have a holiday booked between now and May 31, please contact your provider and re book for later in the year or next year.

“We do rely on your custom and want to welcome you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

“Keep well and look after the people in your own community. We will try and do the same."

The group said it would post photos of the town in order to give would-be visitors a 'Dornoch fix'.

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