Police Crime Commissioner: Lockdowns needed to avoid coronavirus ‘holidays’ in Wales
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn has called for a more stringent “lockdown” to be introduced to stop the huge increase in tourists to mainly rural areas.
The Police Commissioner who represents Plaid Cymru has called for people travelling to a non-primary residence to be stopped from doing so.
Snowdonia rescue service, local GPs, hospitals and local authorities have also raised concerns after parts of Snowdonia faced their busiest ever weekend.
This morning England’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the UK Government would “do what it takes” to stop people socialising despite warnings.
However so far the Welsh and UK Governments have so far taken no action to stop the flow of tourists and second home and caravan owners, apart from repeating calls that they stay home.
“The guidance is clear – no one should be undertaking non-essential travel. That includes taking a trip to rural Wales,” Dyfed Powys PCC Dafydd Llewelyn said.
“We must now introduce a series of ‘lockdowns’ to ensure people travelling to a non-primary residence should be stopped and those currently in non-primary residences should return home.
“No community is going to be immune from this pandemic. People cannot out-run it and people certainly can’t hide from it in holiday spots.
“All you will be doing by heading to these areas is putting your life and the lives of others at risk by overstretching local services.
“This isn’t a national holiday, it is a national emergency. If people don’t start acting responsibly hundreds, possibly thousands, of people will die unnecessarily.”
Yesterday First Minister Marl Drakeford reiterated his call that social distancing by everyone is “absolutely essential” in order to delay the spread of the virus and save lives.
“We all need to follow this advice now to protect each other and our families and to help ensure our NHS is not overwhelmed,” he said.
“Social distancing includes avoiding all but essential travel and if people don’t follow this advice we will have no choice but to use powers to enforce it.”
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies, also said that it was “totally irresponsible” and “very worrying” to see some people ignoring advice and travelling to holiday destinations in certain parts of Wales.
“As individuals, as families, as a nation, and as a United Kingdom, we absolutely must listen to the advice of experts who are telling us to take all the precautionary measures we can to limit the spread of Coronavirus,” he said.
“While it was a glorious Spring weekend, and yes, it was Mothers’ Day, however, I cannot emphasise enough how critical it is for everyone to behave appropriately.
“It was very worrying to see some people ignoring advice and travelling to holiday destinations in certain parts of Wales. This is totally irresponsible, and could put huge pressure on local health services and the supplies of essential goods.
“The Welsh and UK Governments must now work together to close caravan parks and tourist attractions as soon as possible.
“Where possible, people should stay at home to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our NHS.”
Welsh National Party Leader Neil McEvoy said that in light of the Welsh Government’s failure to act, County Councils should take immediate action themselves to protect local communities in Wales.
“This weekend the Welsh Government has put areas of Wales at risk by its lack of action,” he said.
“Places like Gwynedd have been inundated with tourists, some of whom will probably be carrying the virus and passing it on through the surfaces they touch and the people they go near.
“Local Authorities should act immediately and close holiday camps, citing public health concerns. Instead of waiting for the green light from London or indeed Cardiff, Council leaders need to act to defend their own communities.
“Local Government already has the powers to review and revoke licenses if businesses do not cooperate, through the 2003 Licensing Act.”
“Italian and Spanish health services are in meltdown with staff choosing who is going to live or die. We still have a window of opportunity to avoid this. We must act now.”
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