Police boss says lockdown easing is 'total shambles' and could cause influx of visitors to North Wales

Credit: North Wales Police

The Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales said the "utter confusion" over lockdown easing is a "total shambles".

Arfon Jones said the announcement by Prime Minister Boris Johnson that people in England will now be allowed to travel outside their local area to take exercise could lead to a new influx of visitors attempting to come to North Wales.

He fears that people from across the border will now be encouraged to travel to the region's mountains and coast.

The new guidance from Boris Johnson was contrary to regulations in Wales.

Although people in Wales are now permitted to go outside to exercise twice a day, they are still not allowed to travel to different areas. Whereas in England, there is now no restriction on how far people can travel in their cars to take exercise.

People in Wales are not allowed to drive to take exercise. Credit: PA

Mr Jones said that the message from North Wales Police remained the same and they would still be stopping cars and fining people who did not have a good reason to be out on the roads.

Confusion among the public was evident on Monday when ITV News spoke to residents who live on Boundary Lane - where one side is in England, and the other is in Wales.

Mr Jones said: "We need to specify the travel for leisure and exercise in Wales is still non-essential and they still commit and offence by doing what is legal in England. We need further guidance from Westminster and Cardiff.

“The danger is that people will be travelling to places like Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula from cities like Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham because they will believe they have been given the green light to do so."

Dr Conway is a leading consultant in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

People from different parts of Wales have expressed similar concerns.

In Rhondda Cynon Taff, Dr Nerys Conway has been urging people to stay in their homes.

Dr Conway works at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, which looks after the RCT community.

After the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, the hashtag #DontVisitWales was trending on Twitter, as people shared parody posters encouraging everyone to stay away from Wales during the lockdown.

'Don't Visit Wales' parody posters have been encouraging people to stay away during lockdown.

The Welsh Government's advice remains:

  • Wherever you can you should stay at home.

  • If you need to leave home for work, exercise or shopping, you should stay local and stay alert.

  • Coronavirus has not gone away.

  • The way we behave over the weeks ahead will continue to have a profound impact on our NHS and our ability to save lives.

  • If you go out, stay local and stay safe.