Tourists set to return to Wales from mid-July, Welsh Government say

Tourists in Beddgelert. Picture by IIya Kuzhekin (CC BY 3.0)

Tourists will be able to return to Wales from mid-July and stay in ‘self-contained’ accommodation including static caravans, holiday cottages and some hotels, the Welsh Government is expected to announce.

The five-mile ‘stay local’ guidance will be relaxed on 6th July and holiday accommodation can take bookings from the 13th as long as they can ensure that guests do not mix together.

There have been fears that parts of Wales that have so far seen few Coronavirus deaths would experience a second wave as a result of a large number of visitors from other parts of the UK and elsewhere.

Speaking on Radio Cymru this morning, Anglesey Council Leader Llinos Medi said it was important that there was no influx of tourism on the island.

“We’re all very aware of the tourism aspect in Anglesey and it’s extremely, extremely important that Mon’s gates aren’t opened to tourism straight away and that the public don’t forget the importance of all the guidelines to protect them,” she said.

Currently, people from elsewhere cannot visit Wales as the lockdown prevents travel over five miles over the border, as well as staying overnight away from their primary residence.

However, it will be announced today that the five-mile ‘rule of thumb’ will not apply if people travel on compassionate grounds.

 

‘Caveat’

Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford told BBC Radio 5 Live: “On Monday 6 July, provided the virus is still under control, we will lift our ‘stay local’ instruction here in Wales and at that point the tourism economy will reopen in Wales.

“I’ve got to caveat it by saying we’ve got to be sure the virus is still under control at that point.

“Provided it is, the stay local restrictions will be abolished [on July 6] and people inside Wales and from outside Wales will be able to travel.

“I’ll be saying today to our tourism sector that they should use the next three weeks to prepare so that beyond that, self-contained accommodation will be able to reopen in Wales.

“People will be able to travel to holiday cottages or static caravans or hotels that are organised on a self-contained basis.

“And people will be able to take bookings in Wales on July 13 onwards.”

Mr Drakeford warned “it won’t be like going back to the way things were” and “the virus is still here” – and said any local outbreak could put the date back.

 

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