Coronavirus lockdown turns into ‘busy Bank Holiday’ for mountain rescue teams
The first day of a UK-wide lockdown on pubs, clubs and bars instead turned into a Bank Holiday blitz up the mountains in north Wales.
Thousands of Brits ignored Government advice on slowing the deadly outbreak of coronavirus to walk in idyllic hills of Snowdonia.
Despite official warnings to stay inside and only travel when necessary pictures show cars lined up on the mountain paths today.
The North Wales Mountain Rescue Association (NWMRA) said on Facebook: "We seem to have had an almost "bank holiday" day in the mountains and hills of north Wales."
Pictures of the mountain lanes, taken by Daily Post photographer Arwyn Roberts, have already widely spread on social media as shocked people across Europe express their disbelief at people flouting the instructions to stay home.
Also in Wales a furious nurse ordered drinkers to leave a pub garden in the tourist hotspot of Abersoch on the Llyn Peninsula – the pub itself had followed government orders to close.
So far 233 people in the UK have died after contracting Covid-19 and a further 5,000 have been infected.
Those numbers are expected to increase significantly in the coming days and weeks.
The National Trust will close parks from midnight to prevent crowding and stop the spread of the deadly bug which has rocked Europe and the world.
Cumbria Constabulary did their best to warn people away from the Lake District.
The force issued a statement pleading with the public not to travel.
Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery, the Chair of the Cumbria Local Resilience Forum, said: "Whilst we are looking at all measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, I must urge people living outside the county not to visit. A national emergency shut-down of businesses and schools is not an excuse for a holiday.
"Cumbria County Council yesterday urged people to stay at home as far as possible to protect out NHS and save lives. I reiterate that advice and it is important that we all follow it."
That statement apparently fell on deaf ears in Cumbria and in Wales.
NWMRA wrote on Facebook: "From Moel Famau in the east, through all the popular mountains in Snowdonia, people seem to have been out in force.
"Both the Llanberis and Ogwen teams have dealt with incidents, at least two of which have involved inexperienced people getting lost or stuck."
A sign on a park bench in Snowdonia simply read 'Snowdonia is closed! F*** off home!'.
Local politicians have raised concerns about people with second homes choosing to self-isolate in north Wales placing tremendous stress on the local NHS services.
Rhun ap Iorwerth warned: “Over the past week, I’ve raised multiple times with Welsh Government, including in the Assembly Chamber, fears that our health services are coming under unnecessary increased pressure due to an influx of visitors.
“Today I have had a GP contact me saying a dozen people have tried to register with his surgery as new patients whilst they’re here to isolate. He reports a major influx to his local community and that’s just second homes."
Also Anglesey Council’s Tourism and Economic portfolio holder, Cllr Carwyn Jones, added: “Visitors should respectfully stay away from Anglesey for the time being.
"We need to slow down the spread of the virus and do everything we can to protect lives and our NHS.
"Now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel Anglesey is such a beautiful place and we always value and welcome visitors to our island with open arms, but we are all fighting a deadly disease, lives are at risk and we all need to play our part, the sooner we defeat this the sooner we can all rebuild and get back to normal.”
The government has asked all Brits to limit travel to what is absolutely necessary.
On Friday Plaid Cymru's Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts write to the UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, call for a “no-travel directive” in respect of holiday homes and caravan parks in rural Wales until the coronavirus pandemic has abated.
n her letter, she noted: “There are warnings being issued across the UK by doctors in rural areas who say that there are dangers of low hospital capacity if people travel to isolate.
“I urge you, as I have done the Welsh Government, to issue an immediate no travel directive, advising people against travelling to their holiday homes in rural areas until the Coronavirus crisis has abated.
“Such travel plans should be designated as “non-essential” and I encourage you to ask those who are considering self-isolating to do so at their principal residence.
“I urge you to support rural areas which are being forced to deal with increased populations during this difficult time including a rural economy fund, securing vital medical equipment for public services and ensuring that food supply chains to rural areas are maintainted.”
Source: Read Full Article