Travelling to Wales is still not an option – stay away say police and Welsh ministers
People still cannot travel over the border into Wales for their daily exercise.
That’s the message from police and the Welsh government ministers today with worries the relaxing of some rules in England will see an influx of people driving across the border into Wales this weekend.
Campsites, outdoor activities and tourist attractions and beauty spots, such as Snowdon, remain closed to the public to keep people safe and protect the NHS.
Changes made to the law in England – set out by PM Boris Johnson on Sunday – allow people to go out anywhere for open-air recreation, but the rules do not apply in Wales.
Here, stay-at-home coronavirus regulations remain firmly in place.
North Wales Police Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes said around 200 fixed penalty notices had been handed out in the region since lockdown began to those flouting the rules.
He added they had only been dished out where required, such as to visitors travelling from the Midlands and London.
Although there has been criticism of the difference in fine levels between England and Wales, the chief constable insisted the force has a positive relationship with the Welsh Government.
With a 15 per cent increase in traffic on the roads this week alone, he also urged people to stay away from North Wales over the weekend, despite the warm weather forecast.
He said: “No matter what the penalty is at the end of it, people ultimately need to listen to the advice as 33,000 people have tragically lost their lives in this crisis across the UK.
We all want to make sure we come out of this and we all want to make sure that we’ve got our loved ones with us when we do.
The vast majority of second homes are still empty and we’re really grateful to people for following that advice, but we have engaged with everybody there just to explain the fact that people shouldn’t be in their second homes if they travelled during this period.
Please come back and please come and visit us after the crisis is over. The restrictions are really clear, and that is for essential travel only.”
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford issued a statement specifically for people in Merseyside, he told the Liverpool Echo:
“The links between North Wales and Merseyside are close and go back centuries.
Welsh communities have long been part of the northwest’s history and those close links continue to strengthen with every year which passes.
Last year saw the first direct train service between North Wales and Liverpool for more than 40 years, bringing us closer together.
But for the time being we cannot visit each other.
The stay-at-home coronavirus rules are still firmly in place in Wales.
While there has been some easing of travel in England, the situation is different in Wales.
Travelling to Wales for leisure is not allowed.
If you travel into Wales for leisure, you risk being stopped by the police and turned around.
You could be fined.
Our strict stay-at-home rules are in place to protect us all from coronavirus.
The Welsh Government makes the rules in Wales.”
We have looked very carefully about whether we could relax the coronavirus regulations – thanks to the efforts of everyone in Wales, we are seeing some signs that the spread of the virus is slowing but not enough to lift these restrictions.”
The Welsh Government’s Economy and North Wales Minister Ken Skates also said today.
“Wherever we live, we are all facing the threat of coronavirus. Our message in Wales remains very clear. Please stay at home.
This goes against our normal welcoming nature, but for now please don’t visit.
We want nothing more than to welcome visitors to enjoy our wonderful scenery and attractions but to protect our NHS and keep people safe as we deal with coronavirus, please stay home and stay local.
Lifting restrictions now would risk increasing spread of the virus, which could endanger more lives and cause longer term disruption and hardship for our tourist industry.
If you travel a significant distance for leisure purposes into Wales or within Wales you risk being stopped by the police and fined under Welsh law. Don’t put yourself and others at risk, and for now please don’t visit.
“I look forward to giving you all a very different message in the near future. I look forward to saying “croeso” – welcome – to you all, but not now – later.”
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