Police in Wales urge English people to check lockdown rules after turning away more than 1,000 cars

Waterfall in Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales, UK

Police in Wales have turned away more than 1,000 cars from a beauty spot in just two days, prompting them to urge English visitors to check the country’s lockdown rules.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they have stopped tourists from as far as London who had travelled to a picturesque area in the Brecon Beacons known as “waterfall country” last weekend.

In England people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access beauty spots but Wales still has a five-mile limit on non-essential journeys - something the force said many of the drivers stopped claimed they did not know.

Offenders include a doctor from London who travelled to Brecon to buy lamb, a group from Devon who made a 350-mile round trip to Wisemans Bridge, Pembrokeshire, to “look at the beach”, and a birthday party from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire, who travelled to Elan Valley, Powys, for a barbecue.

The force said 72% of people reported for breaches of coronavirus restrictions in Powys, Mid Wales, since March 27 had been from outside the police force area.

A spokeswoman said: “Police in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.”

She added: “Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.”

Superintendent Steve Davies said: “Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

In Wales fines for repeated breaches of lockdown regulations start at £60 but double for each repeated offence to a maximum of £1,920.

Wales’ three national parks, including Snowdon in North Wales, the Elan Valley in Mid Wales, and the Pembrokeshire coast in West Wales all remain closed to the public, along with all National Trust car parks and properties.

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