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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Coronavirus: “electrified” outdoor places to reopen when the five-mile limit ends

Two children play in a fountain in the gardens

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NBGW: Aled Llywelyn

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Families will be able to travel to outdoor attractions such as the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire.

Families and friends are able to gather and enjoy outdoor attractions thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions in Wales.

The “stay local” guide, asking people to stay within five miles of home, has ended, with no travel limits.

The outdoor attractions were also cleared to open, with owners claiming to be “thrilled” on their return.

Two families will also be able to stay together indoors and overnight.

This easing of blocking restrictions comes when the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline.

But Prime Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to think “carefully where we are going and why.”

Drakeford urged people to follow the “golden rules” in case of further restrictions:

  • Work from home whenever possible
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Stay away from other people – the two-meter rule still applies in Wales
  • Wash your hands often
  • Meet people from another family outdoors

Despite the request to avoid unnecessary travel, from Monday there is no longer a limit to the distance that people can travel.

Outdoor attractions looked forward to welcoming visitors for the first time in 13 weeks.

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Getty Images

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Zip World says that social distancing can be easily applied on its “vast” sites

Zip World said it has been “thrilled” to reopen the North Wales sites in Bethesda and Betws-y-Coed, although some of its other attractions remain closed for now.

“Our vast outdoor spaces and the autonomous nature of our sites naturally lend themselves to socially responsible measures, which means that we can create a safe environment for locals and visitors to the area,” said a spokesman for the adventure company.

When Snowdon reopened, Snowdonia National Park launched a social media campaign to make visitors aware of how to stay safe and protect wildlife.

Staff from the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, who celebrated their 20th birthday during the blockade, said they were confident in terms of safety.

“A huge thank you to all our members, visitors, staff, volunteers, friends and everyone for following us with us in these strange and difficult times,” they said.

“With 568 acres [230 hectares], we are more than confident that we can meet all the social distancing guidelines, but you will notice some changes designed to protect everyone. “

They asked visitors to expect queues as they carefully monitor the flow of visitors.

‘Daunting’

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Tenby is among the places waiting for visitors after the restrictions end

Travel restrictions were introduced across the UK at the start of the blockade in March, although Wales has maintained travel restrictions longer than the British government has done in England.

Tourist hotspots in Wales – like Tenby in Pembrokeshire – were preparing for an influx once restrictions were lifted.

Mayor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall admitted that there had been a dilemma between balancing the need to revive the local economy while maintaining the safety of residents and visitors.

“At the moment it is very discouraging – obviously people are very worried, but there are two sides to this – people want to be safe, but we must also support our activities,” he said.

“Tenby relies heavily on tourism, which in turn offers jobs to the local community. If we are not allowed to open, there will be no jobs and many businesses will close by winter.”

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