Police commissioner calls for ‘lockdown’ in rural Wales

A police and crime commissioner has called for “lockdowns” in rural Wales to stop self-isolationists and tourists flooding in.

Dafydd Llewelyn, who is the Plaid Cymru police and crime commissioner for Dyfed Powys, described the Covid-19 epidemic as a “national emergency, not a national holiday”.

He has called for travel and residency restrictions to be introduced, and people travelling to a non-primary residence should be stopped from doing so while those currently in non-primary residences should return home.

There are calls for a 'lockdown' to stop tourists visiting places like Portmeirion in North Wales (Yui Mok/PA).
There are calls for a ‘lockdown’ to stop tourists visiting places like Portmeirion in North Wales (Yui Mok/PA).

It follows warnings from local health and safety workers across Wales that services are at risk of being overwhelmed, threatening the lives of local residents and those travelling to the area.

This includes the Snowdonia rescue service, local GPs, hospitals and local authorities.

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has written to First Minister Mark Drakeford calling on him to shut holiday accommodation, such as caravan parks and restrict the use of second homes.

“The guidance is clear – no one should be undertaking non-essential travel. That includes taking a trip to rural Wales,” Mr Llewelyn said.

“We must now introduce a series of ‘lockdowns’ to ensure people travelling to a non-primary residence should be stopped and those currently in non-primary residences should return home.

“No community is going to be immune from this pandemic. People cannot out-run it and people certainly can’t hide from it in holiday spots.

“All you will be doing by heading to these areas is putting your life and the lives of others at risk by overstretching local services.

“This isn’t a national holiday, it is a national emergency. If people don’t start acting responsibly hundreds, possibly thousands, of people will die unnecessarily.”

The leaders of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire councils have urged tourists to stop visiting and tourism bosses have echoed the call.

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