A backlash against people ignoring social distancing saw people in rural communities telling visitors to "go home" on Sunday because parks and beauty spots were packed with visitors.
Some tourist destinations and National Parks saw their busiest ever days over the weekend as people ignored the advice to stay two metres apart to enjoy the sunshine.
Caroline Barrett and Jamie Blackett explore both sides of the debate.
'I don't feel guilty'
It's been the source of so many arguments; late into the night discussions. Shall we stay or shall we go? But this weekend, after the Government's final briefing of the week, we spent three hours packing up our two-bedroom flat in London and driving out of town. I realise we're incredibly lucky. Not everyone has the same luxury.
Originally this house was meant to be our main home. We were the new-parent cliché – the couple who moved out of London, which had been our home for more than 20 years, when our daughter, now three, arrived. We bought a house in Chipping Norton, and to this day, my husband jokes: "She went to Soho Farmhouse once and decided to live in Oxfordshire." (a dig at me and my impulsiveness).
But, back at work after maternity leave, the commute was ridiculous and we really missed our friends and life in London, so we came back and rented a flat, which we live in during the week.
Now that has all changed again. As we are both working from home, being cooped up with our daughter in a flat with no outside space was just untenable.
So, this week, like so many other townies, we packed up and made our country pad our main home. I don’t feel guilty about it, why should I?
As I write now, I'm looking out into the garden where our daughter is happily playing in the sunshine after spending five days being told she couldn’t go to her nursery. She couldn't get her head around why everything was changing and why it wasn’t even OK for her to go to our local city park. Now the sun has finally made an appearance we knew the excuse of "it’s raining" would no longer cut it.
I can see there has been a backlash from locals living in areas where city people own second homes; the fear that we could spread the virus and overwhelm small rural communities where resources are in short supply and hospital beds are many miles away. We understand their concerns.
But we also see ourselves as a part of this community. It's where we brought up our daughter for the first year of her life and made some wonderful friends. Many of our neighbours are elderly (with relatives living miles away) and so the first thing we did when we arrived was offer our help. They kindly look out for our house when we’re not here. This is our opportunity to pay them back.
We've tried to be as responsible as we can by bringing all the food from our cupboards at home so we don't raid any village supplies. We're self-isolating as much as we can, so we will support the local farming communities by using their delivery services. too. We want to help and hopefully this is an opportunity for us to do that.
‘Don’t overload us’
There are moments, as a rural small business owner, when you are like the captain of a ship faced with the decision whether to abandon ship or man the pumps.
Coronavirus has caused more of these moments than anything I can remember. Last week it was pub landlords, this week it is the turn of the self-catering sector.
We closed the B&B side of our business weeks ago. The decision on self-catering cottages is made much more difficult by the lack of guidance from the state, and the considerable nuances over social distancing in the calculation.
This is becoming an increasingly toxic issue in some parts of the countryside. Metropolitans wanting to escape to the country have stirred up atavistic tribal emotions from deep in our folk memory for those of us who would be on the receiving end.
In Scotland this has political overtones, with nationalists tweeting demands to shut the border at Gretna. As in all previous epidemics, there is xenophobia caused by a natural instinct to keep the infection on the other side of the moat.
This may be wishful thinking: we live in a remote part of Dumfries and Galloway, but are far more integrated with the outside than in previous generations. And I know of several neighbours who are self-isolating with suspected cases already. Small wonder that concerns are being voiced over the potential pressure on local services a flood of tourists would cause.
Rural communities like ours have hospital services that are spread thinly over wide areas. It makes sense to avoid overloading them.
The knee-jerk reaction is to play safe and close everything down. On the other hand, the memories of the deep damage done to the rural economy during the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001 – when it is now generally acknowledged that it was probably a mistake for the politicians to suggest the countryside was "closed" – make us pause and consider.
So far we have managed by ensuring a quarantine period between lets. There has been extra cleaning and all social interaction has been outdoors. Anyone showing any symptoms or part of a vulnerable group is not coming.
But clearly now we need to review the situation as it worsens. So we need decisions. On Saturday, George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, ducked the issue. Yesterday, SNP politicians broke ranks and said people should stay away. For many self-catering businesses, it will be existential. The closure needs to be a clear order so force majeure applies for insurance purposes. We need help for the self-employed. And we need a clear exit strategy for those tested as having recovered to start coming again as soon as possible. We cannot afford a repeat of 2001.
Jamie Blackett is a farmer in Dumfries and Galloway, and the author of Red Rag To A Bull: Rural Life In An Urban Age (Quiller)