Government advice to staycation this year has meant a huge influx of people to the popular seaside towns along the north coast where residents have voiced concerns that they are being exposed to an increased risk of contracting coronavirus.
Portstewart, Portballintrae and Portrush were bustling with tourists yesterday which made maintaining a social distance of two metres from others along footpaths impossible.
The majority of people out and about were not wearing facemasks. However, local man William Quinn said he never leaves home without his. He said: "I think coronavirus is going to be with us for years and years and if you look at all the people who have had it and all the people we have lost to it, it is important to take precautions.
"We need to protect ourselves and I never go out without my scarf. I think we are all going to have to work out how to get on with life, including going on holiday in a way that also keeps the virus at bay."
Another resident who didn't want to be identified added: "I am on my way to visit an elderly relative who lives a few streets away from me but in order to get to her, I have to break the guidance on social distancing and that bothers me so much.
"I understand it is great for the traders to have people here and I understand it has been a tough few months for them but our health is at risk here because there are so many more people from God only knows where here.
"You can see how few people are wearing a face covering. I know it isn't compulsory but I think it would have helped if the Government had made it mandatory for people in crowded places."
Philip Hanvey from Portballintrae said life for locals has become a real nightmare.
He said: "A lot of local people have stopped going out to even walk the dog during the day because there are so many people, here especially at weekends.
"It is impossible to social distance along crowded footpaths and even though we are taking all the precautions we can it is a nightmare when visitors don't."
Heather and Simon Clyde from Tandragee in County Armagh who are spending a week in their Portstewart apartment were sympathetic to the concerns of locals.
Mrs Clyde said: "I can appreciate why residents would be worried about the numbers of people coming here but I really don't think anyone who isn't feeling well would come here.
"People are out and about in the fresh air so that minimises risk. We have the apartment and tend to eat there mostly but we have been in a couple of restaurants and we feel they have taken all the necessary precautions."
William Waide and his family from Carrickfergus decided to holiday in Portrush instead of their usual trip to Blackpool this year and he said he was content that enough was being done to keep everyone safe from the virus.
He said: "We haven't been in Portrush on holiday for years but we are happy to be here because if we didn't feel safe we wouldn't stay.
"Every shop you go into has hand-sanitiser and they are strict about the number of people that can be in the shop at one time.
"There are quite a lot of people around but I feel it is okay walking around and the beach is fantastic .
"There's no issue there at all with social distancing because there is so much room for everyone and even our wee dog is loving it."
SDLP East Londonderry MLA Cara Hunter said it was important that tourists maintain vigilance against the virus.
She said: "This has been a very tough year for traders here along the North Coast who depend so much on the summer season and we are promoting staycation this year rather than going abroad but I have a duty of care to my constituents too.
"I would urge people who are in Portrush, Portstewart and Portballintrae to remember that just because they are on holiday, the virus is not and it is important people maintain the same level of vigilance here that they do at home."