Dozens of walkers flouted social distancing guidelines as they lined up to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon this weekend despite the Welsh government urging people to avoid all unnecessary travel.
Walkers were crammed into queues as they approached the top of Wales’ tallest mountain, which lies in Snowdonia National Park, with the aim of photographing themselves atop.
The scenes come just hours after it was revealed that 60% of the Welsh population will be locked out from tomorrow after three more council areas were added to the government’s list.
This weekend, regular walkers were shocked after hundreds of people descended on the famous summit with their climbing gear despite coronavirus warnings.
Hundreds of walkers lined up to reach the summit of Mount Snowdon in Wales this weekend despite strict coronavirus rules
Walkers in their climbing gear meandered up and down the mountain in an effort to reach the top of Mount Snowdon which is in Snowdonia National Park
Crowds of walkers flouted social distancing guidelines as they gathered near the top of the mountain over the weekend
Arwyn Roberts, from Llangefni, who climbs the summit once a week, said he was “quite shocked” by the scenes and described how the queue extended from 200 to 300 meters.
He told North Wales Live: ‘I managed to find a place to park and had planned to take a quieter route up the mountain – but there were no quieter routes.
“I usually go up the mountain early in the morning and haven’t been there on weekends for a long time, so I was pretty shocked at what I saw.
“Even from below you could see the line of people coming down the mountain from the top. The queue was already 200-300 meters when I reached the top.
The scenes come as 60% of the Welsh population faces a local lockdown tomorrow after some 362 new coronavirus cases were reported in Wales in the past 24 hours alone, bringing the total to 22,945.
Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan will be covered by the rules, meaning people will not be able to enter or leave areas without a reasonable excuse from 6pm on Monday.
Residents will not be able to meet inside people with whom they do not live, as extended households are suspended.
The announcement comes just hours before local lockdown restrictions took effect in Cardiff and Swansea, Wales’ two largest cities, on Sunday evening.
It comes as 60% of the Welsh population faces a local lockdown from tomorrow after three more council areas are added to the government’s list. Pictured: Cars at a drive-through coronavirus testing station in Ebbw Vale in Wales
New measures were also introduced in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire on Saturday evening.
Restrictions are already in place at Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Rhondda Cynon Taff.
This means more than 1.8 million people in Wales – nearly 60% of the population – will be placed under local lockdown from Monday evening.
Premier of Wales Mark Drakeford said in a statement: ‘Following a worrying increase in coronavirus cases in South Wales, we took action on Friday to introduce local coronavirus restrictions in Llanelli and local restrictions will come into effect in our two largest cities – Cardiff and Swansea – tonight.
“We are now taking further action and placing three more areas under local restrictions in South Wales – Neath Port Talbot, Torfaen and the Vale of Glamorgan – as we are seeing an increase in rates in all three areas. These areas also share borders with local government areas where the rates are much higher.
“Introducing restrictions to any part of Wales is always an extremely difficult decision for us. But we are acting to protect people’s health and to try to break the chain of transmission and prevent the situation from getting worse.
“This is not a regional lockdown – it is a series of local restrictions in each local authority area to address a specific increase in cases in each area, which have separate chains of transmission. and unique.
“In some places, like Caerphilly and Newport, we’ve seen some really positive drops in response and we’re hoping they can start to relax if they keep going.
“It’s really important that everyone follows the rules where they live. We need everyone’s help to bring the coronavirus under control. We need everyone to come together and follow the measures that are there to protect you and your loved ones.
Earlier this week, the Prime Minister introduced a series of measures to tackle the disease, including imposing a 10 p.m. curfew on all pubs, bars and restaurants in England and limiting the number of wedding guests at 15.
The prime minister said it was necessary to reintroduce the measures to avoid a dramatic increase in the death toll and a second, economically devastating full lockdown.
Under the new measures, plans for the partial return of sports fans to stadiums from October 1 have been “suspended”, while the number of people allowed to attend weddings is reduced to 15.
Mr Johnson also announced the end of the government’s back to work campaign, urging Britons to work from home if they can.
Masks will also need to be worn on public transportation and in many indoor spaces, including stores, malls, indoor transportation hubs, museums, galleries, cinemas and public libraries.
Just hours after introducing the new measures, the Prime Minister made an emotional appeal to the nation and warned Britons they face a long, difficult winter of police restrictions on their freedom to see the coronavirus.
He also criticized his critics – including Tory MPs and business leaders who have warned of the economic impact of tough measures, adding: “To those who say we don’t need these things, and we should let people take their own risks. I say these risks are not ours.
“The tragic reality of having Covid is that your mild cough can be someone else’s death knell.
“And with regard to the suggestion that we should just lock up the elderly and the vulnerable – with all the suffering that would entail – I have to tell you that is just not realistic.
“Because if you let the virus tear apart the rest of the population, it would inevitably find its way to the elderly as well, and in many more numbers.