Posted: Sat 23rd May 2020

Anglesey Council urges boat and watercraft owners to avoid island’s coast due to lockdown

North Wales news and information

The owners of boats and watercraft have been urged to heed warnings that North Wales remains closed to tourists amid the Coronavirus lockdown.

On another bank holiday weekend, agencies are stressing that with current Covid-19 regulations meaning that people should not leave home without a “reasonable excuse,” those found launching and using craft off the region’s coast are being targeted by police.

With the Welsh Government advising against all recreational motor boating at this time, Anglesey Council has already closed all slipways, coastal car parks and toilets under its control, with people urged to exercise within close vicinity of their home.

Popular launching sites such as Traeth Bychan, Trearddur Bay, Bull Bay, Rhosneigr and Porth y Wrach in Menai

Bridge are also closed off for public launching other than licensed fishing, being regularly monitored and patrolled by maritime staff.

The council has now contacted nearly 900 people who have applied for a PWC registration or requested a seasonal launching permit, to remind them of the current lockdown rules.

The Interim Head of Economic Development, Christian Branch, wrote: “Please remember that travelling to Wales to spend time in the countryside or at the coast is not allowed under Welsh law.

“Until Welsh Government guidelines regarding recreational boating are relaxed, access to the water from our slipways will be prohibited.”

“We look forward to welcoming you back to Anglesey’s waters once we know the lockdown is to be relaxed in Wales and we will be starting to process all applications in due course.

“To avoid increasing the burden on the NHS we also advise local people not to take unnecessary risks while exercising.”

The road to Newborough National Nature Reserve and Forest car park, which is managed by Natural Resources Wales, also remains closed until any lockdown is raised.

But with the number of confirmed Coronavirus cases on the Island continue to rise, reaching  183 on Thursday, other attractions that remain shut on the island include the Holyhead Breakwater Country Park, Llangefni’s Dingle Local Nature Reserve, Beaumaris Pier and St George’s Pier in Menai Bridge.

The same is the case with popular visitor car parks including Benllech, Trearddur Bay, Porthdafarch and Porth Swtan.

Anglesey Council Leader, Councillor Llinos Medi, said, “This virus remains a real threat to our loved ones and communities.

“We’ve seen a steady increase of confirmed cases here on Anglesey in recent weeks and we will keep our sites and premises closed for the time being to stop the spread of the virus.”

“I would like to thank residents for their support during lockdown and urge anyone thinking of visiting our Island this bank holiday weekend to respect and follow Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance.

“Please stay at home unless you need to go out for food, health reasons or work – and only then if you can’t work from home.”

She added, “When the time is right, there will – of course – be a warm welcome for visitors back to our beautiful island.”

Meanwhile, North Wales Police is also reminding people that it is not legal to drive to second and holiday homes, and neither is driving to the National Park and other beauty spots to walk or exercise.

North Wales Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison, concluded: “Despite our repeated messages including national media coverage, we’ve continued to see people travelling totally unreasonable distances into north Wales which is extremely disappointing.

“Our focus continues to be to reassure, inform and engage with people so they understand why these restrictions are in place.

“Teams continue to be out and about in our communities and on the road networks, and will be once again this weekend, ensuring the people are complying with the restrictions.”

By Gareth Williams – Local Democracy Reporter

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