Welsh Government plea for tourists to avoid busy areas as good weather expected to draw big crowds

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

The Welsh Government have called on tourists to avoid busy areas on the first weekend since indoor hospitality is open in Wales.

Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Dafydd Elis Thomas said that with good weather forecast he was reminding residents and visitors alike to enjoy what Wales has to offer safely.

His comments come after politicians wrote to Wales’ First Minister saying that they are “extremely concerned” about tourists’ ability to maintain social distances in Wales’ seaside towns.

They said that “the numbers flocking here are more than can be dealt with, which leads to a situation beyond of the ability of the authorities to maintain order”.

They cited the example of Barmouth in Gwynedd where there was illegal parking across the town and tourists unable to socially distance because of the crowds.

Dafydd Elis Thomas said that tourists taking advantage of the good weather to visit Wales should consider visiting less busy areas.

“Plan ahead and check local arrangements such as parking facilities,” he said. “ If where you want to go is very busy think about an alternative which is quieter – there are plenty of places to choose from.  You might discover something new.

“Remember to maintain social distance, and keep two metres apart from others, including when outdoors and on the streets.

“It’s great to see that most tourist businesses are now open and we all have a part to play in keeping everyone safe, and ensuring our restaurants, pubs, cafes and attractions can remain open.

“We can enjoy the wonderful countryside and attractions here in Wales over the summer.  Let’s all do so safely.”

 

‘Inadequate’

On Tuesday the leader and deputy leader of Gwynedd Council, as well as two Members of the Senedd and two MPs, wrote a letter to First Minister Mark Drakeford.

They asked the First Minister to consider what measures can be put in place to guard against the spread of Covid-19.

“Last weekend unprecedented numbers came to visit our seaside towns and beaches,” the letter says.

While they said that they “sympathised” with those on holiday “what is most worrying is that so many people were walking in the town that the social distancing rule could not be observed”.

“In addition, as can be imagined, private and public toiler provision was wholly inadequate to meet the need,” the letter says.

“Events such as festivals, the Royal Welsh Show and Eisteddfods are prohibited, so how in this case can we allow multiple crowds to assemble without restrictions at all?

“Allowing large numbers to spread without respect for social distancing can lead to the spread of Coronavirus.”

The letter was signed by Hywel Williams MP, Sian Gwenllian MS, Liz Saville Roberts MP, Helen Mary Jones MS, Leader of Gwynedd Council, Cllr Dyfrig ap Siencyn, and his deputy Cllr Dafydd Meurig.

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