Residents must respect COVID-19 restrictions in Wales and not travel over the border

18 May 2020

Residents of Cheshire West are asked to take their daily exercise within the borough and not travel over the border into Wales.

The Prime Minister relaxed restrictions this week, allowing residents in England a greater freedom of movement to take more daily exercise.

However, the changes have not been adopted by the Welsh Government and the lockdown restrictions remain in place in Wales. People in Wales are not allowed to travel distances to exercise.

Travel restrictions lifted in England do not apply in Wales. Anyone travelling into Wales will be subject to Welsh legislation.
Cheshire West and Chester Council is joining with Flintshire County Council, North Wales Police and Wrexham Council to appeal to residents in England to respect the current guidelines in Wales and not travel over the border at the present time.

Councillor Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Many of our residents enjoy travelling to Wales, which has many beautiful areas to visit, but now is not the time to do so. 
“We politely ask our residents in Cheshire West to respect the current situation in Wales.

The Welsh Government has not relaxed the freedom of movement restrictions in the same way that the Prime Minister has for England. Our residents should not be travelling over the border into Wales at this moment, and not until the restrictions have been lifted by the Welsh Government. We ask our residents to remain in England.
“We have strong connections with our neighbours across the border in Wales and the Mersey Dee Alliance is an example of this effective collaboration. We look forward to the day when all these restrictions are lifted in both Wales and England and people can return to our normal way of life and visit the wonderful, scenic areas of Wales which many of us enjoy so much.”
In a joint statement from Colin Everett, Chief Executive of Flintshire County Council and Cllr. Ian Roberts, Leader of Flintshire County Council, said: “There are very close ties between our two counties and people are used to regularly travelling across the county border to work, shop and visit family and friends. For many, crossing the border as a matter of course has been part of their regular exercise routines for many years, particularly for cyclists and we do understand people’s frustrations at this time.

“However, for now, we ask for your understanding and only come to Flintshire, or any other county in Wales, if it is essential. We look forward to welcoming everybody when the current restrictions on travel and social distancing have been relaxed.”

In a joint statement, Wrexham Council Leader Councillor Mark Pritchard and chief executive Ian Bancroft said: “In Wrexham and across Wales we’re very used to and always pleased to see visitors from across the border but during the last few weeks this situation has been very different. 

“We have been unable to welcome visitors to any of our destinations and this will continue as the message here hasn’t changed. All people in Wales are still asked to stay at home and stay safe and to only undertake essential journeys. 

“We hope residents in Cheshire West and Chester appreciate this and we can assure everyone that we are all keeping a welcome in the hillsides for when we can all begin to ease the restrictions. Diolch yn fawr pawb.”

Over the bank holiday weekend officers dealt with several incidents whereby people had travelled unreasonable distances into North Wales.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Nigel Harrison of North Wales Police said: “The restrictions in Wales remain and people should not think of ways of circumventing the law. Our tourist attractions, parts of the national park, pubs, restaurants, holiday parks and campsites remain closed. 
“Travelling into Wales for exercise or without a reasonable excuse is not permitted, and the sooner we can slow the spread of the virus the sooner we can welcome people back here.
“Increasing the population of our area will place an unreasonable burden on our NHS and other key workers who are working hard to ensure the safety of everyone. Those visiting the mountains of Snowdonia or our coastal areas also need to realise that they could potentially be risking the lives of our Mountain Rescue and RNLI volunteers should they get into difficulties.

“We also continue to urge holiday home owners not to travel to their properties for the time being. This is not essential travel. Please stay in your primary residence. 

“We will be operating in a very visible way on our road networks and in towns and villages ensuring that people are complying with the restrictions.

“The mountains, beaches and countryside will be here when this is over for us all to enjoy and everyone will look forward to welcoming visitors back once it is safe again to do so. Until then please stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

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