Lockdown in north of Wales could be ‘knockout blow’ to tourism industry
There are concerns that ‘local’ lockdowns are imposed on much of the north of Wales at 6pm this evening could be a “knockout blow” for the tourism industry.
The Shadow Minister for Tourism, Darren Millar, called into question whether the restrictions were proportionate.
Lockdowns for Wrexham, Flintshire, Denbighshire and Conwy mean that tourists will be able to pass through these areas, but not to stop, and residents will not be able to leave without a reasonable excuse.
There is no local lockdown in Gwynedd so large tourist sites such as Hafan y Mor in Pwllheli and Greenacres in Porthmadog will remain open.
One company, Haven, has asked guests to vacate one of its busy holiday parks in Gronant, near Prestatyn from 10am tomorrow in order to comply with the Welsh Government regulations.
The Welsh Government was yet to demonstrate how the widespread local measures they were taking in North East Wales would reduce the spread of Covid-19, Darran Millar said.
“The First Minister has repeatedly said that there is no evidence of a link between tourists and recent increases in positive Covid-19 cases in Wales yet the new travel restrictions from 6pm tonight may well deal the knock-out blow to many previously successful businesses which rely on visitors to make themselves viable.
“Ministers need to think again about their plans and put together a wider package of support to enable these businesses and the jobs that depend on them to survive.”
Jim Jones of North Wales Tourism said there was no evidence that tourists were spreading Covid-19.
“Business are extremely and understandably frustrated, it’s another dark day,” he told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.
“They have invested so much time and gone to extraordinary measures to be Covid-compliant and make everybody safe and then all of a sudden they’ve got to cancel bookings and tell visitors to go home.”
Plaid Cymru Westminster Leader Liz Saville Roberts MP, however, called on the UK Government to tell people in Covid breakout areas in England facing extra restrictions not to travel to Wales.
“From tomorrow, 2.3 million people in Wales won’t be able to travel out of county without good reason,” she said. “Yet people from lockdown areas in England can still visit rural Wales.
“Travelling from Betws-y-Coed to Beddgelert could land you with a fine. But Rochdale to Rhosneigr? No problem.
“I raised this with the Prime Minister last week. Leisure travel from lockdown areas has got to stop. Will he make good on this today?”