NEW rules to save lives and prevent the spread of coronavirus, closing public footpaths and car parks, have been published by the Welsh Government.
They are designed to complement the new strict stay-at-home regulations and prevent a repeat of scenes last weekend when large numbers of people gathered on Welsh beaches, in parks and mountainsides.
The new regulations close a number of popular beauty sports and visitor sites throughout Wales and impose a duty on local authorities, national park authorities, National Resources Wales and the National Trust to close certain public rights of way and access land.
Popular land and paths which are closed, include:
Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)
‘Ogwen’ – Y Garn, Glyderau, Tryfan and Cwm Idwal
Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy
All main car parks.
These new measures do not prevent people from going outside to exercise but encourage them to do so close to home.
The stay-at-home rules allow people to go out once a day close to home to exercise – but in groups of no more than two people. People must not travel unless absolutely necessary, they should stay 2m away from other people and observe strict hand washing and hygiene guidance.
People with symptoms of coronavirus– a high temperature or a new and persistent cough – must stay at home. People they live with must also stay at home for 14 days.
Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government said:
“In Wales, we are blessed with beautiful natural landscapes the length and breadth of the country.
“These closures are not intended to deter people from exercising outdoors close to their homes as now set out in legislation.
“We have taken the action to close certain footpaths and land in order to keep people safe and reduce the pressure in our NHS. Our message is simple. Please stay at home and save lives.”
Emyr, chief executive of Snowdonia National Park said:
“After last weekend’s unprecedented scenes in Snowdonia, in co-operation with Gwynedd Council, Snowdonia National Park Authority has now closed the busiest mountain areas and popular sites within the national park.
“The action was taken in order to protect rural communities and health services in the North Wales area, and to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“We encourage local people who live within and close to the national park boundary to continue to exercise, but we must stress that they should only do so from their doorstep, and not travel to other areas within the park. For those who do not live within walking distance of the national park, our message is clear – do not visit the national park until the Government’s guidelines to avoid unnecessary travel has been lifted.”
A National Resource Wales Spokesperson said:
“We are dedicated to keeping the public, and our staff as safe as possible. Whilst we have closed all visitor infrastructure on our sites, the rights of way and open access land remain open at the moment for the people who live close by. We will keep this under close review”.
“NRW advice is to take care of yourself and others by following Public Health Wales and Government guidance, avoiding unnecessary travel – so make your walk a local one; do not get into your car to travel to one of the woods we manage”.
A list of public paths and car parks at some of Wales’ most popular beauty spots which are closed has been published on the Snowdonia National Park, National Trust, local authority and National Resources Wales websites.
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