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May Day Bank Holiday: Please continue to stay home

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7 May 2020

Key workers have united to urge members of the public to stay home and stay safe over Bank Holiday weekend.

Over the course of the bank holiday weekend, partner agencies will be releasing a collection of images on social media on behalf of frontline workers urging the public to follow the Government guidelines and continue to stay at home.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison said: “We continue to urge people not to travel to North Wales over the bank holiday weekend.

“Restrictions on non‐essential travel remain in place. Our tourist attractions, parts of the national park, pubs, restaurants, cafes, caravan, holiday parks and campsites all remain closed. Sadly we’ve had recent occasions where people have travelled totally unreasonable distances into north Wales.

“We know that many will be disappointed that we cannot mark VE day in the way that was planned and would have been fitting. However, in light of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and social distancing guidance, it is of utmost importance that people commemorate at home, so we can protect the NHS and save lives.

He added: “Our focus continues to be to reassure, inform and engage with people so they understand why these restrictions are in place. Teams continue to be out and about in our communities and on the road networks, and will be once again this weekend, ensuring the people are complying with the restrictions.

“However we’d like to thank the vast majority who are adhering to the restrictions. You really are playing your part in helping to save lives. What we are doing is showing signs of working but we must keep going otherwise the last few weeks will have been for nothing.”

In an open letter ahead of the bank holiday weekend, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, Cllr Andrew Morgan, Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Chair of Policing Wales & Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, and the Chair of the Welsh Chief Officer Group Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, call on people to stay home.

The letter also makes clear that travelling to a second home does not ordinarily constitute essential travel, and that anyone leaving or remaining away from the place where they are living without a reasonable excuse is committing an offence.

T/ACC Harrison said: “The NHS and other key workers are doing an incredible job in keeping the public safe, but we ask you to consider that increasing the population of our area will place an unreasonable burden on them. People should not think of ways of circumventing the law, this is about making sure loved ones don’t die because of a few selfish actions, the police should not be needed to reinforce common sense.

“The mountains, beaches and countryside will be here when this is over for us all to enjoy and everyone will look forward to welcoming visitors back once it is safe again to do so. Until then please stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

Emyr Williams, Chief Executive, Snowdonia National Park said: “It’s really important that people keep adhering to the Government guidelines to stay at home. We would like to sincerely thank the vast majority of people who are continuing to help prevent the spread of the disease by staying at home, but we’re concerned about the reports we’re having from our Wardens that traffic and visitor numbers are slowly increasing. The Government guidelines and restrictions have not changed, and people should still be staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel.

“Our Wardens will be working with North Wales Police over the Bank Holiday weekend and will have a strong presence on the ground in the National Park to ensure that our communities and local health services are protected. The sooner we can halt the spread of the virus the sooner we can welcome people back to Snowdonia, and help local businesses and industries recover.”

Gwynedd Council Leader, Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn said: “This is an unprecedented period for all of us. We are grateful to everyone who has and continues to follow the stay at home regulations.

“Our message is clear ‐ the area is currently closed to help us stop the spread of Coronavirus.

“Until then, our partners in the National Park have closed Snowdonia's busiest mountains and there is no access for the time being. Natural Resources Wales has closed its visitor centres, car parks, play areas and mountain bike trails and Cadw along with the National Trust have closed their sites.

"So, for the time being, we ask people not to visit the area ‐ we will welcome visitors back to Gwynedd and north Wales when things get back to normality."

Notes to Editors

For more information contact Ioan Gwilym, SNPA's Corporate Services Officer on 01766 772253 or ioan.gwilym@snowdonia.gov.wales