As we approach Easter, some of the key organisations in North Wales have come together to urge people to only make essential journeys and not to visit the region to safeguard and support our local health services.
Although the tourism sector is a key part of the economy of North Wales, Covid-19 has created unprecedented challenges for the Health Board, Social Services, Local Authorities, the Emergency Services and every part of society in North Wales.
In a joint statement, the six north Wales Councils noted:
“All six local authorities fully support the requests by tourism leaders here in North Wales to ask visitors not to come and see us at this moment in time.
“Our attractions are closed and residents are doing an excellent job in observing the social distancing and stay at home messages and we encourage potential visitors to follow this advice too. Please stay at home and stay safe.
“We’ll still be here when all this is over and our tourist and cultural sites and national park will be more than happy to give you all a fantastic Welsh welcome when everything returns to normal.”
Councillor Dyfrig Siencyn, Chair of the North Wales Economic Ambition Board added: “Our advice to anyone who is even considering visiting North Wales over Easter is not to do so.
“The regulations from our Governments are clear that we should only leave home for essential shopping, medical needs and exercise and that only essential travel should be undertaken. Visiting a second home is not essential travel.”
Superintendent Richie Green, North Wales Police said: “Everyone must contribute to the national effort to respond to the coronavirus outbreak and I am grateful to the vast majority who have made significant changes to their daily habits and routines.
“North Wales Police will continue to play its part. Teams are out and about and our officers will continue to engage with people, establish their individual circumstances and will continue to explain the risks and warn of the consequences of failing to comply with the guidance.
“We continue to ask people to consider whether their journey is essential. We all have a shared responsibility to protect the NHS, please use your common sense and help us together to save lives.”
Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of the Snowdonia National Park Authority said:
“In response to the Covid-19 emergency, over the past few weeks the Snowdonia National Park Authority has been working in collaboration with local authorities to close popular areas of open access to try and slow the spread of the virus and to protect health services in the North Wales area.
“Until further notice, there is no access to Snowdonia’s popular mountainous areas, and all of the Authority’s car parks and public toilets are closed. To anyone considering visiting Snowdonia over the Easter break the message is clear – do not visit the National Park until the Government’s guidelines to avoid unnecessary travel has been lifted – until then stay active, stay healthy and stay local. Snowdonia will still be here when this is all over, and we look forward to welcoming you back when things are back to normal.”
This situation is unprecedented and asking people to stay away is highly unusual, but Michael Bewick, the Chair of the North Wales Tourism Forum, stressed that we must comply with the Government’s regulations.
“As the Managing Director of an attraction and the Chair of the North Wales Tourism Forum, asking people not to visit is unbelievable, but we are living in a period of national emergency.
“Every attraction in North Wales is closed, our principal mountains and beaches are closed and our towns and villages are to all extent and purposes closed. This is going to be an extremely challenging time for the tourism sector.
“I’m sure that I can speak on behalf of the whole sector when I thank people for staying away, for staying at their main home and by saying that we look forward to welcoming you back to North Wales – in the future.”