People visiting Wales urged to behave respectfully as five-mile travel rule ends


People planning to visit Wales have been urged to behave safely and respectfully as restrictions on travel are lifted today.

The “stay local” requirement had advised people to remain within five miles of their home.

Visitors are now able to travel into and around Wales for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced in March.

Outdoor attractions can also reopen, paving the way for the tourism sector to begin welcoming guests from 11 July if conditions allow.

Families will be reunited as people from two households are now able to form one extended household.

BETWS-Y-COED, WALES - APRIL 08: A sign implores tourists to stay away and that Wales is closed during the pandemic lockdown on April 08, 2020 in Betws-y-Coed, Wales. There have been over 60,000 reported cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the United Kingdom and 7,000 deaths. The country is in its third week of lockdown measures aimed at slowing the spread of the virus. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
A sign in April had implored tourists to stay away from Wales

Public Health Wales said on Sunday one person had died after testing positive for COVID-19, taking the total number of deaths there to 1,531.

The total number of positive tests increased in Wales by 15 to 15,890.

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First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford said: “We live in such a beautiful part of the world and I know many of us are looking forward to visiting beaches, the countryside and our many beauty spots.

“People throughout Wales have done so much over the last few months to follow the rules and help reduce the spread of coronavirus – I thank them for their patience and understanding. I ask them to continue in this spirit.

“Unfortunately, over the recent weeks we’ve seen the results of people not treating parts of Wales with respect, with crowds leaving piles of litter in their wake.

“This selfish behaviour is a blight on our beauty spots and puts people at risk. While many footpaths and car parks are reopening, not all facilities will be available in every location straight away.”

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Lockdown restrictions were introduced on 23 March and people were instructed to stay at home apart from for limited reasons.

These measures were eased in Wales on 1 June when the “stay at home” message was replaced with “stay local”.

This allowed people from two different households to meet outdoors, as long as they did not travel more than five miles and maintained social distancing.

Measures have now been eased to allow unrestricted travel in Wales – though holiday accommodation will remain closed.

Self-contained accommodation is preparing to reopen from 11 July.

Mr Drakeford urged visitors to check websites where possible and plan ahead, including alternative arrangements if their destination is too busy when they arrive.

The Welsh government has been working with local authorities, national parks, Natural Resources Wales and other landowners to ensure the country is ready to welcome visitors.

There is new guidance about public toilets, focusing on hygiene, social distancing, signage and queuing – with not all facilities able to reopen.

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 08: The First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford speaks to the press ahead of a 2-minute silence outside the Welsh Government building on May 08, 2020 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. The UK commemorates the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) with a pared-back rota of events due to the coronavirus lockdown. On May 8th, 1945 the Allied Forces of World War II celebrated the formal acceptance of surrender of Nazi Germany. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images
Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford has warned against ‘selfish behaviour’

The countryside code has been revised in light of the pandemic, with visitors asked to obey social-distancing measures and plan ahead.

Tegryn Jones, chief executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, said: “We urge those who choose to explore our landscapes in the coming weeks and months, perhaps for the first time, to do so with respect – for the people and wildlife, which call it home, and for each other.”

The Welsh government will consider a range of options for reopening bars and restaurants outdoors from 13 July and self-contained holiday accommodation from 11 July at the review of Wales’ coronavirus regulations.

They will also decide whether hairdressing can restart by appointment only.

Nicola Sturgeon has said people need to remember 'the virus hasn't gone away'
Nicola Sturgeon has said people need to remember ‘the virus hasn’t gone away’

It comes as Scotland is continuing its easing of lockdown measures today with parts of the hospitality sector allowed to reopen.

Pubs and restaurants are able to open outdoor spaces, such as beer gardens but will have to wait to welcome customers back inside.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I think that it’s really important that as we gradually and safely come out of lockdown, people remember that the virus hasn’t gone away, it’s still there.

“So as we get some normality back into our lives, the challenge for all of us is to make sure that we are still keeping ourselves and others safe.

“And that fundamentally is about following the basic hygiene advice – wearing face-coverings in enclosed spaces, avoiding crowded places, keeping two-metre distance.”

Praise in Belfast for NHS workers
A banner in Belfast praises NHS workers

Hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons can open in Northern Ireland from today.

Pubs which serve food have been able to reopen along with hotels since Friday.

Restrictions on people visiting loved ones in hospital and care homes have also been eased.

Hairdressers were seen redecorating and installing protective measures in the days leading up to the reopening.

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