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Welsh police 'busier on Friday than on New Year's Eve'

Dyfed-Powys Police has told ITV Cymru Wales demand on police over the Bank Holiday weekend was 'the highest it's been for a couple of years'. Credit: ITV Cymru Wales

Police forces in Wales were busier on Friday bank holiday than they were on New Year's Eve.

Hundreds of streets across Wales saw celebrations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday, but some warned irresponsible street parties may cause a spike in new coronavirus cases.

Dyfed-Powys Police has told ITV Cymru Wales demand on police over the bank holiday weekend was "the highest it's been for a couple of years".

The force handed out more than 170 fines to people travelling to west Wales for non-essential reasons.

It comes as the prime minister announced lockdown rules in England would be eased to allow "unlimited" outdoor exercise. But authorities are warning people not to cross the border to exercise, as rules in Wales remain the same.

Over the weekend, Dyfed Powys-Police stopped two families who had driven around 200 miles for a day out.

A family of five travelled from Warwickshire planning to have “a stroll on the beach” in Saundersfoot. The driver was a key worker for the NHS.

Another family of four, from Northampton, told police they “fancied a spin” after being stopped in Carmarthen.

Inspector Andy Williams said: “After being reported and advised to turn around, they were stopped again in Pembrokeshire, which was their original destination. This time they told officers they had got lost.

“They were once again directed in no uncertain terms to return home, and were further reported.”

In Powys, 19 men were handed fines for the second weekend running after travelling from Merseyside to go off-roading in Newtown.

The First Minister said Wales' lockdown message to 'stay home, save lives' will not change. Credit: Welsh Government

In a video message on Sunday, Wales' First Minister Mark Drakeford reiterated his government's framework to lead Wales out of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Welsh Government said its lockdown message to 'stay home, save lives' will not change, but some people are being caught flouting the rules.

On Monday, the First Minister said two people from different households are allowed to meet in public during the lockdown, provided they follow social distancing rules.

During his press conference, Mark Drakeford said an individual “out walking and taking exercise can have contact with one other person.”

He said he was “restating what has been possible in Wales all along”, however, the Welsh Government up until now has only said that gathering of three people or more was not permitted.

ITV Cymru Wales Political Reporter Owain Phillips explains how lockdown rules have changed in Wales: