Caravan parks, campsites, beauty spots and tourist hotspots across Wales will close from today under new measures announced by the Welsh Government to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The tougher measures come amid growing concern that many people are not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
Large crowds gathered at some of Wales’ most popular tourist spots over the weekend, including Snowdonia National Park and Pen-y-Fan.
The Welsh Government says people camping or staying in caravans on holiday will be asked to return to their homes from today, unless there are exceptional reasons for them remaining.
The measures will not affect people who live permanently in park homes.
Local authorities will also be enforcing the closure of pubs throughout Wales following reports that some are flouting the shutdown introduced on Saturday.
Licensed premises which continue to trade will risk losing their licence, the Welsh Government said.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Wales is a beautiful country and attracts millions of visitors every year – but now is not the time for unnecessary journeys. We want people to come to Wales when the threat of coronavirus has passed.
“Today, we are taking action to close caravan parks, campsites and some of our most recognisable visitor sites to keep people safe and to reduce the pressure on our NHS.
“My message is simple. Please stay at home and save lives.”
Emyr Williams, lead officer for the National Parks Wales, said: “We welcome this move. At this time is essential that people do not travel unnecessarily and overwhelm our rural areas.
“Following this announcement we will be closing access to key hotspots such as Snowdon, and I know my colleagues in the Brecon Beacons and Pembrokeshire Coast National Parks are taking similar action, for example closing routes to both Sugar Loaf and Pen-y-Fan.”
Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton said: “It’s important people continue to stay active but please do this close to home.
“We need to do everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus – that means not traveling unless absolutely necessary and avoiding close contact with other people by staying two metres away.
“Everyone should also continue to wash their hands regularly with soap and hot water.”
16 people have now died of coronavirus in Wales and there have been 418 confirmed cases across the country - though Public Health Wales says the true number of people infected with the virus is likely higher.
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