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Welsh Government announces closure of caravan parks and tourism spots

23 Mar 2020 3 minutes Read

The Welsh Government has announced that caravan parks, campsites, tourist hotspots and popular beauty spots such as Snowdon will be closed to visitors from today.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said that Wales was facing “an unprecedented public health emergency”.

“We’re taking tough new measures to close caravan parks, campsites, national parks and other tourist hotspots to all visitors from today,” he said. “Councils will also enforce the closure of pubs. Stay home.”

Education Minister Kirsty Williams first confirmed the closures on BBC News. The decision won’t affect people who live on caravan parks permanently.

“The scenes we saw over the weekend caused a lot of disquiet,” she said.

“We love welcoming people to Wales and we love people in Wales coming to our beautiful areas.

“I represent the Brecon Beacons National Park and we’re always pleased to welcome people but not under these circumstances. People need to listen to the very clear advice of Government. Only travel if necessary to do so.

“Whilst it’s beautiful in the Beacons, Snowdonia and our beaches, you don’t need to be there.”

 

‘Inundated’

Caravan and second homeowners had been urged to stay at their main homes to not add pressure to NHS services in rural areas.

The decision comes after Snowdonia National Park Authority said there were so many people on mountain summits on Saturday that effective social distancing was “impossible”.

Responding to the First Minister’s announcement that caravan parks and campsites across Wales will be made to close, Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said that further action was needed.

“We very much welcome this decision by the Welsh Government to act upon the powers which they already have and close the caravan parks and tourist sites,” he said.

“This will give much needed comfort to those areas which have been inundated with visitors over the past few days and will ensure that there isn’t added pressure on our NHS.

“However, we need more action on the question of holiday lets, other tourist accommodations and non-primary residences. Current UK and Welsh Government advice states that people should not travel to their second homes because of the added pressure it puts on local services. That advice needs to be backed up by appropriate powers of enforcement if people choose to ignore it.

“Unless people cannot return home because someone is self-isolating in their primary residence, or for another humanitarian reason, all travel to non-primary residences should cease and people currently in non-primary residences should return home. Put simply, this will save lives.”

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John Ellis
John Ellis
1 year ago

After what occurred over last weekend, this decision was both inevitable and right. This is one power that the Welsh government does appear to possess, and its use in the current circumstances is wholly appropriate.

K.K
K.K
1 year ago

A completely acceptable decision and as John states completely justifiable in light of last weekends proceedings. Despite this however, it doesn’t go far enough as all those many thousands of people who own second homes should also be banned too. I am finding the selfish actions of a sizeable proportion of the population very frustrating yet given the political ideology that has been peddled out since 1979, I’m not completely surprised. The Me, Myself and I mentality is all around us and it represents a sad indictment of the human condition.

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  K.K

That second homes segment of the holiday market is potentially the biggest threat as a lot of these premises are smack in the middle of communities that have been hollowed out with little or no services but now expected to share the residual services with these cuckoos.

Michael massarelli
Michael massarelli
1 year ago

About time but not good enough. The following should be done asap. Holliday home owners go back home stop holiday lets which are booked /and letting agents and private lettings should close A S A P.

Michael massarelli
Michael massarelli
1 year ago

Not good enough .all holiday home owners should go back home and stay at home./ block existing lettings /close all letting agents and private holiday lettings. Order everybody STAY AT HOME. AND BE SAFE.

John Ellis
John Ellis
1 year ago

In the current circumstances none of us can expect to be wholly safe.

But we need to maximize such safety as we can hope to have, and you’re quite right: ‘STAY AT HOME’ offers us the best safety that we can currently hope for.

Mark Price
Mark Price
1 year ago

BBC News is always featuring Scortland and its decisions. Is the Welsh Government simply deferring to the old England and Wales combine or will it ever have something to say? It could be the BBC are just ignoring anything we do happen to say which would not be the first time

j Humphrys
j Humphrys
1 year ago

Drakeford obviously felt the political ground slipping away………………..”we are taking tough new measures.” Yeah, right.
Nothing to do with the earlier McEvoy posts? No no no……………..

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  j Humphrys

Ah, Mr McEvoy. Hmmm!
His suggestion of using the 2003 Licensing Act surprised me since I have never yet seen a lay- by, as at Pen-y-Fan, with a premises licence.
It is the police who have more and more instantaneous powers over licensing law anyway. Councils have to go through procedures, a police inspector can shut a premises down immediately but it first must be licensed.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Further to the above, FM Sturgeon has just confirmed that ” powers of enforcement will be handed to government later this week and they will use them, including empowering the police to issue fines and break up gatherings.”
This rather presumes that WAG went as far as was legally possible earlier today and we await Westminster law to be created.

j Humphrys
j Humphrys
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Yet “the tough new measures” are announced “from the 23rd anyway?
The language used indicates a political jumpiness.

Walter Hunt
Walter Hunt
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I too was puzzled by reference to the Licensing Act 2003. Following the Wales Act 2017 certain emergency powers were given to the Welsh Ministers in the revised Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Who’s issuing what orders and who’s responsible for enforcing them and what is the basis in law? Is Cardiff acting as a relay for London or seizing the initiative? Lets hope our AMs and MPs are up to the task of ensuring that the governments not only follow the scientific advice with all due speed, but while doing so acts constitutionally.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 year ago

Maybe, just maybe, those of us with holiday lets in our communities should produce some posters to stick on the outside of them, advising anybody approaching very politely that they really shouldn’t be there.

max wallis
max wallis
1 year ago

The Vale of Glam Council had the power to close its own car park on Barry Island and perhaps the private car-parks, but not to prevent the many local people getting to the beach last weekend. Social distancing on the beach was effective, so the police power to break up gatherings is not relevant. It was queuing at the chippies that broke all social distancing norms – letting it rip was quite irresponsible. The queuing that needed controlling, by police and Council staff, backed up by tannoy announcements. On such a fine weekend, the Vale Leisure Services no doubt expected… Read more »

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