The mayor of Barnard Castle said Dominic Cummings should have apologised for coming to the market town.
Coun John Blissett, who is not politically aligned, urged people to come to see the medieval castle which stands above the River Tees, the town’s antique shops and its attractive high street – but only when it was safe to do so.
The 73-year-old has been in isolation since March due to his age, and said the Downing Street news conference had done “a hell of a lot” for the town, joking “come to Barny and test your eyesight”.
Mr Blissett said: “An apology would have been an idea because a lot of people have been in far worse situations (than Mr Cummings).
“Barnard Castle is a wonderful place.
“We have a project called Making Barny Brighter Together which encourages people to come – but at the moment we are saying the opposite, for our safety and their safety,
“We have had a few cases in the town and we don’t want any more.”