First Minister asks people to visit Wales safely as stay local restrictions are lifted
With the stay local restrictions lifted and as outdoor spaces in Wales prepare to welcome visitors, First Minister Mark Drakeford is urging people visiting the countryside, beaches and beauty spots to do so safely.
From today (Monday 6th July) the five mile rule which has been in place since May has been lifted – enabling people to travel in Wales and into Wales.
It will also mean outdoor visitor attractions can open for the first time since before lockdown. It will also pave the way for the tourism sector to begin re-opening from 11 July, if coronavirus cases continue to fall.
The Welsh Government has been working with local authorities, national parks, Natural Resources Wales and other landowners to ensure Wales’ wonderful outdoors are ready to welcome visitors.
This includes new guidance about public toilets, focusing on hygiene, social distancing, signage and queuing. Not all public toilets, however, will be safe to re-open so people are being advised to check in advance what facilities will be open.
The countryside code has also been revised in light of the coronavirus pandemic and visitors to the countryside are now asked to:
– Respect other people
– Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
– Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear
– Leave gates and property as you find them
– Follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow
– Protect the natural environment
– Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
– Be careful with barbecues and don’t light fires
– Keep dogs under effective control
– Dog poo – bag it and bin it, or take it with you
– Enjoy the outdoors
– Plan ahead, check what facilities are open, be prepared
– Follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures
First Minister Mark Drakeford said that whilst restrictions in Wales are starting to ease, coronavirus has not gone away.
“We live in such a beautiful part of the world and I know many of us are looking forward to visiting beaches, the countryside and our many beauty spots,” said Mr Drakeford.
“People throughout Wales have done so much over the last few months to follow the rules and help reduce the spread of coronavirus – I thank them for their patience and understanding. I ask them to continue in this spirit.
“Unfortunately, over the recent weeks we’ve seen the results of people not treating parts of Wales with respect, with crowds leaving piles of litter in their wake. This selfish behaviour is a blight on our beauty spots and puts people at risk.
“While many footpaths and car parks are re-opening, not all facilities will be available in every location straight away. Please, check websites where possible and plan your visit. If your planned destination is too busy when you arrive, have a plan B ready and try an alternative car park or destination.
“Coronavirus has not gone away and, while the evidence shows the risk outdoors is lower, there is still a risk. We therefore need to continue to act responsibly. Be kind to local residents and to fellow visitors by parking considerately, leaving nothing behind and following the recently revised Countryside Code.”
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