Welsh police fine English day trippers amid surge in campsite bookings

Welsh police fine English day trippers amid surge in campsite bookings

Welsh police fine English day trippers caught making non-essential journeys to Brecon Beacons during lockdown – as 14-day quarantine for overseas traveller triggers surge in staycation bookings at campsites

  • Dyfed Powys Police chief said drivers have recently been told to turn around
  • Health chiefs suggest camping could be a way to enjoy holidays with less risk
  • One site said Sunday was its strongest day for revenue since it began in 2006

English day trippers caught making non-essential trips over the Welsh border during lockdown have been fined, a police chief said today, as restrictions have sparked a surge in staycation bookings at campsites.

Superintendent Clark Jones-John of Dyfed Powys Police said a number of cars heading to the Brecon Beacons, a popular camping destination, had been turned around in recent weeks.

It comes after heath officials indicated camping could be a way for people to enjoy holidays with less risk than if they were to stay in hotels.

This, along with the incoming 14-day quarantine for people arriving in the UK, means many will be considering a domestic break instead of a foreign trip this summer.

Superintendent Clark Jones-John of Dyfed Powys Police said a number of cars heading to the Brecon Beacons, pictured in 2017, had been turned around in recent weeks

The police chief, pictured today on Sky News, reminded English travellers that some stricter restrictions remain in place on the other side of the border

One booking website even revealed that Sunday was its strongest day for revenue since it began operating in 2006. 

However, Supt. Jones-John reminded English travellers today that some stricter restrictions remain in place on the other side of the border.  

‘When people are in Wales it’s the Welsh regulations that are applicable,’ he told Sky News.

‘What that means that travel must be for essential purposes like buying food, exercising, however any such travel must be local.

‘And we have seen situations where people have travelled from Birmingham, Bristol and London – that is clearly non-essential travel, is not local and it is unfortunate that such people have been turned around and we have issued fines where necessary.’

Similar fears are being voiced in Scottish rural villages and glens, where locals have been urging visitors and those wishing to isolate there to stay away.

Signs and blockades have been erected on single track roads and normally popular destinations, with messages such as ‘go home’ and ‘closed’ written across them.

In the Lochaber community of Applecross, residents had placed a large notice along the famous Bealach na Bà road, part of the North Coast 500 route.

Residents in Scottish rural villages and glens have been urging visitors and those wishing to isolate there to stay away (pictured: Sign in Ross-shire)

Nothing to see here: Bales of hay at John O’Groats stop motorists from making a detour to the Caithness village famous for landmark photos

In the Lochaber community of Applecross, residents had placed a large notice along the famous Bealach na Bà road, part of the North Coast 500 route 

Angry villagers in the popular Lake District, in Cumbria, have barricaded themselves in with makeshift roadblocks and plastic fences in a bid to fend off hoards of tourists amid the coronavirus crisis

Similarly, people living in the Lake District, in Cumbria, are putting out traffic barriers and industrial waste bins across roads – which is against the law – to stop walkers accessing parts of the national park.

Farmers in the area have also set up fake signs in a bid to keep visitors walking past their houses.

One sign in the village of Seathwaite, within the national park, claims there is ‘No entry due to coronavirus’.

However, as people are told to stay away, business for many of these traditional tourist hotspots begins to suffer.

A study last month claimed that jobs in Britain’s most popular holiday destinations were among those most at risk due to coronavirus. 

The futures of more than 30 per cent of positions in areas such as Cornwall, the Cotswolds and the Isle of Wight are threatened in light of the pandemic, according to analysis by The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

The research suggests some 66,878 jobs could be lost on England’s southwestern tip, traditionally inundated with swathes of tourists and holidaymakers during the summer months.

A map, pictured, shows the 20 local authority areas where the most jobs are at risk, according to an RSA study

Many other coastal towns are also vulnerable, with North Norfolk potentially looking at 10,063 losses, 13,313 in Pembrokeshire, 14,458 in Scarborough and 10,074 in Argyll and Bute in the Scottish Highlands. 

Meanwhile, the Cotswolds, England’s largest Area of Outstanding National Beauty, is facing up to 13,526 losses and 15,423 more are threatened on the Isle of Wight.

Proportionally they are among the top 20 areas most at risk across Britain, with one in three jobs nationwide believed to be on the line.

To combat the huge loss predicted as a result of the pandemic, a top tourism boss suggested yesterday an extra bank holiday in October could help revive the industry.

Patricia Yates, who heads Visit Britain, told MPs the industry had lost £37billion in trade since lockdown began and an additional day off would ‘stimulate demand when it is possible to travel’.

The country has already spent three bank holiday days in lockdown, including two at Easter and one earlier this month, which was moved to May 8 to mark VE Day’s 75th anniversary.

Tourists and residents were spotted cramming onto packed beaches across Britain today, including Blackpool, pictured, on what is predicted to be the hottest day of the year so far

Downing Street said Boris Johnson would consider the idea but warned that extra bank holidays ‘do come with economic costs’ as Ms Yates admitted that ‘every time we do the modelling [on the impact of the pandemic], the figures get worse’.

Meanwhile, tourists and residents were spotted cramming onto packed beaches across Britain today on what is predicted to be the hottest day of the year so far.

The prospect of travelling abroad this year is not completely off the table, however, after European nations offered to open their borders to British holidaymakers – but only if the UK drops its 14-day coronavirus quarantine.

Popular tourist destinations like Spain, Italy and Greece have said that they would be willing to allow UK visitors in to help their under-threat tourism industries.

But they insisted that any deal must be ‘reciprocal’, allowing their own nationals into Britain without spending two weeks in isolation.

A drone captures people flooding onto a beach in  Potamos, Epanomi, Greece, this weekend as public spaces begin to open across the country. The scenes comes as Downing Street played down the idea of opening ‘air bridges’ to some foreign resorts

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has suggested two-way ‘air bridges’ linking Britain with nations who have low or falling rates of coronavirus cases, boosting hopes stressed Britons will be able to get away on holiday this year.

But with ministers expected to unveil plans tomorrow for a tough new quarantine regime requiring travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK, holidaymakers were warned not to make holiday plans yet in anticipation of the Med being opened up.

As a result, campsites are experiencing a surge in bookings, with bosses at the Cool Camping website telling the PA news agency that Sunday was its strongest day for revenue since it began operating in 2006.

It also recorded a five-fold increase in the number of bookings during the week after Boris Johnson’s announcement about easing coronavirus lockdown restrictions on May 10 compared with the previous seven-day period.

The Prime Minister said July 4 is the earliest date for hospitality businesses reopening.

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said at a Downing Street press briefing that it is a ‘biological truism’ that being outdoors is safer than being in an enclosed space with people potentially carrying coronavirus.

Campsites, pictured, are experiencing a surge in bookings, with bosses at one booking site revealing that Sunday was its strongest day for revenue since it began operating in 2006

He promised to give ‘careful thought’ to what steps would be needed to allow campsites and caravan parks to reopen.

Cool Camping marketing manager James Warner Smith said: ‘The demand for camping is clearly there, and with foreign holidays on the backburner for the time being, people appear to be looking closer to home for their holidays this year.

‘We also expect to see a lot more first-time campers in 2020.

‘City breaks may look very different if galleries, museums and leisure facilities face restrictions, and consumers are, naturally, looking to the countryside when they plan their breaks.

‘With the usual holidays for some people seeming less accessible or appealing, we expect many will try camping for the very first time.’

Camping and other forms of holidays are still currently banned despite some travel restrictions being lifted in England.

The Camping and Caravanning Club has urged the Government to provide ‘greater clarity’ on how campsites can be safely reopened ‘with additional measures in place’.

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