SECOND home owners in Saltburn have been told to stop letting out their properties during the coronavirus crisis over worries visitors are putting residents at risk.

Several reports of lights going on in holiday homes in the seaside town have been passed to Redcar and Cleveland councillor Philip Thomson.

And the member for Saltburn was keen to discourage those thinking of coming to stay.

Cllr Thomson said: “The residency appears to be spread across holiday lets and Airbnb lets.

“As far as I’m aware, hotels are closed in response to the Government’s guidelines.

“In response to residents’ concerns I have approached the council to ask them to contact all Airbnb and hotel holiday let owners to advise them of the Government guidelines if they are not already aware of them.”

Emergency coronavirus laws state people should stay at home and only leave for exercise once a day, shopping for basic necessities, medical needs, to provide care for a vulnerable person or travel to and from work but only where absolutely necessary.

Government guidance states holiday accommodation businesses should close unless they are part of the response to support key workers or vulnerable groups.

Cllr Thomson told the Local Democracy Reporting Service there had been similar problems with motor homes on Marine Parade and Albion Terrace last week.

One concerned Saltburn resident, who did not wish to be named, said she’d seen multiple cases of families turning up at homes in the town in the past fortnight.

She also revealed she’d written to the owner of one property – desperately urging them to stop letting it out.

“Because there are big Victorian houses in Saltburn, many are set up as houses of multiple occupancy,” she added. “The landlords are working to get income out of them but now is not the time.

“We need to make people realise it’s not acceptable as they could be bringing the virus with them.

“They are going into shops and possibly laying down the virus – and if they fall ill while they’re here, it affects our health service.

“They’ll use a ventilator which might not be able to be used for one of our people.

“They are, potentially, carrying a virus which could kill people.”

A council spokesman said the Government guidance was clear.

He added: “Essential travel does not include visits to second homes or holiday premises, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.

“The more everyone does their bit to slow the spread of infection, the sooner it will be safe enough for restrictions to be relaxed so everyone can enjoy everything Redcar and Cleveland has to offer once again.”

Airbnb is temporarily limiting all new UK bookings up to April 18 to key workers and “essential stays”.

Patrick Robinson, director of public policy at Airbnb, said: “Hosts across the UK are playing a vital role in housing NHS and other medical staff as they continue their critical work.

“We’ve also heard from hosts who want to help others follow the rules and keep people safe during these unprecedented times.

“Restricting bookings on Airbnb to key workers and other essential stays will allow hosts to continue supporting frontline workers while following government guidance.”

A spokesman for the firm said Airbnb blocked private room bookings and temporarily switched off the “instant book” feature for whole home properties last week.