Coronavirus: Outdoor venues ‘thrilled’ to reopen as five-mile limit ends

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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 reunite and enjoy outdoor attractions as travel restrictions are lifted in Wales.

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

Outdoor attractions have also been allowed to open, with owners saying they were “thrilled” to return.

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

This relaxation of lockdown restrictions comes as the number of coronavirus cases continues to fall.

But First Minister Mark Drakeford has called for people to think “carefully about where we go and why”.

Mr Drakeford called for people to follow the “golden rules” if further restrictions are to be lifted:

  • Work from home whenever possible
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Keep apart from other people – the two-metre rule still applies in Wales
  • Wash your hands often
  • Meet people from one other household outdoors

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

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

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Zip World says social distancing can be easily enforced at its “vast” sites

Zip World said it was “thrilled” to be reopening its 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 self-contained nature of our sites lend themselves naturally to socially responsible measures, meaning we can create a safe environment for locals and visitors to the area,” said a spokesman for the adventure company.

As Snowdon reopened, Snowdonia National Park ran a social media campaign to make visitors aware of how to keep themselves safe and protect wildlife.

Staff at the National Botanic Garden of Wales at Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire, which celebrated its 20th birthday during lockdown, said they were confident about safety.

“Huge thanks to all our members, visitors, staff, volunteers, friends and everyone for sticking with us through these strange and difficult times,” they said.

“With 568 acres [230 hectares], we’re more than confident we can meet all the social-distancing guidelines but you will notice some changes which are designed to keep everyone safe.”

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

‘Daunting’

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Tenby is among the places expecting visitors as the restrictions end

Travel restrictions were introduced across the UK at the start of lockdown in March, although Wales kept its travel restrictions longer than the UK government did in England.

Tourist hotspots in Wales – such as Tenby in Pembrokeshire – were preparing for an influx once the restrictions are lifted.

Mayor Sam Skyrme-Blackhall admitted there had been a dilemma between balancing the need to kick-start the local economy while also maintaining the safety of both locals and visitors.

“It’s very daunting at the moment – obviously people are very worried, but there are two sides to that – people want to be safe, but also we need to support our businesses,” he said.

“Tenby relies heavily on tourism, which in turn provides jobs for the local community. If we’re not allowed to open, there will be no jobs and a lot of businesses will close by the winter.”

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