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.”
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.”