‘Stay local’ rule may be kept in place in Wales after beach party

Child playing on a beach. Picture by Damian Gadal (CC BY 2.0)

The First Minister has suggested that plans to end ‘stay local’ rule next month might be reconsidered after beach parties in Wales.

The ‘five-mile rule of thumb’ was due to end on July 6 and holiday accommodation was set to reopen on the 13th.

However, Mark Drakeford said if people did not respect the current guidance the date may have o be pushed back.

“We will not be able to continue easing restrictions if scenes like last night continue to happen,” he said.

“They threaten the health of people in Wales and undermine the sacrifices the majority of people have made during this ongoing crisis.”

 

‘Disappointing’

Two were detained by police after videos shared online showed a large crowd on Ogmore beach last night.

Videos posted on social media showed large crowds at Ogmore-by-Sea, Vale of Glamorgan, followed by violent clashes at 8pm yesterday.

South Wales Police said two men in their twenties had been detained by officers.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales’ Breakfast show South Wales PCC Alun Michael said that it was “disappointing” that scenes of packed beaches in England were now spreading to Wales.

He said that the issue was spreading via “social media” and there was a lot of confused messages on platforms, but not observing social distancing was putting “everybody at risk”.

Responding to questions about why police did not stop people flocking to the beach earlier in the day before the fight, Mr Michael said there was a “difficult balance” to keep, but it was “not something where you could enforce your way out of it”.

“The police will enforce if it is absolutely necessary, but that’s the last resort if people don’t use common sense,” he said.

“We need people to use common sense and that has been the characteristic in south Wales throughout the pandemic to date. It seems to becoming a bit apart.”

 

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