Posted: Sun 22nd Mar 2020

‘Unprecedented scenes’ as Snowdonia experiences busiest day despite social distancing measures

North Wales news and information

Snowdonia National Park experienced its busiest ever visitor day in ‘living memory’ on Saturday despite Covid-19 self-isolation measures being in place.

Only 24 hours after the Prime Minister issued tighter measures to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, Snowdonia National Park was packed the visitors.

The National Park Authority is now calling on the government to institute clearer guidance and measures in order to ensure that the spread of the virus is slowed.

Emyr Williams, Chief Executive of the Snowdonia National Park Authority said:

“Based on the unprecedented scenes in Snowdonia yesterday we fear that the current guidance is not explicit enough for people to protect themselves and others.

On Friday night the prime minister announced new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the virus.

This included ordering the closure of all pubs, cafes and hotels.

In the 24 hrs following this announcement there have been unprecedented scenes in Snowdonia.

We have experienced the busiest visitor day in living memory.

The area has been overwhelmed with visitors.

More worrying still is the significant crowding on the mountain summits and trails making it impossible to maintain effective social distancing”.

Snowdonia National Park Authority is now calling on the Prime Minister and First Minister of Wales to provide stronger measures on unnecessary travel and social distancing, to ensure Saturday’s scenes are not repeated.

“Specific guidance is needed on what “necessary travel” actually entails.

We also call on all visitor and holiday owners to heed government advice and avoid all but essential travel, and to stay at home to stay safe.” A spokesperson said.

The National Park Authority warned that if no further steps are taken “we will need to take drastic measures to protect the communities and health services in North Wales, such as shutting down car parks and trails.”

This major influx to Snowdonia and North Wales has caused major concerns, with people worried about increased pressure on the NHS, rescue services, food supplies and visitor infrastructure, which is already under pressure due the pandemic.

“In these challenging times the Snowdonia National Park Authority will focus all its effort, energy and resource in the coming days and weeks on looking after the communities and businesses in and around the National Park. We will be pleased to welcome visitors back to this beautiful part of the country once the situation has improved.” It said.

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