Afan Forest Park Added to Welsh Lockdown Areas

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Updated 28 September following addition of further areas including Afan to the lockdown zones.

The Welsh Government has introduced a number of local lockdown areas in an effort to combat COVID-19 and reduce local infection rates. The measures are more stringent than those in place in other parts of the country, with residents not allowed to leave the areas, and visitors not allowed to stay.

Local Authorities, Police and Health Boards from three of the areas affected have issued a plea to people from outside the areas to stay away for now – and visit again in future when things are safer. They’ve made it clear that people found visiting the area may well face sanctions for being in breach of the lockdown restrictions. Those passing through on the way to areas not subject to extra restrictions are encouraged to stop only if necessary.

Not today, please.

What the council says

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council said: “We know that this news may be disappointing for those who were planning to stay in the local area over the coming weeks, however, we have a duty to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and the country as a whole.

“There is a worrying resurgence in the virus, which residents across Rhondda Cynon Taf and the entire region worked together to reduce. There have been so many sacrifices made by people up to this point, and our carers and NHS staff have worked tirelessly throughout this time. We cannot let their dedication go to waste.

“We are working with local businesses such as accommodation providers, to ensure they understand the need to comply with these restrictions, to keep residents safe but also how they can rearrange people’s holidays to the area for a time which is safer. We want to welcome visitors to our area, but only when it is safe.

“We will not tolerate people visiting from outside each of the local areas, disregarding the restrictions that residents have to live with and threatening our path to reducing transmission of the virus. Our enforcement officers will work closely with South Wales Police to ensure people who shouldn’t be here are not here, and we will not hesitate to take enforcement action on any businesses who are not complying with local lockdown measures.”

Sendy Panda on the Stumpy at BPW

Merthyr Tydfil Council

Councillor Kevin O’Neill, Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council Leader, said: “The decision to impose stricter restrictions has not been taken lightly; this is an essential measure to keep our communities safe

“Merthyr Tydfil is closed to tourism. I would urge anyone from outside the area who was planning a visit to one of our local attractions to postpone their plans and revisit as soon as it is safe to do so. We will be delighted to welcome you back to our beautiful county borough at a later date.

“That being said, Merthyr Tydfil is a gateway to the Brecon Beacons from many areas of South Wales and the A470 remains open. We simply ask those travelling through to avoid stopping, where possible.

Councillor Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said: “We cannot afford to let our guard down against Coronavirus. Bridgend County Borough is one of the latest areas where new restrictions are now necessary, and it is essential for people to recognise that the pandemic has not gone away.

“In the case of Bridgend County Borough, it is also especially important for people not to travel or gather in large numbers for events such the cancelled Elvis Festival. We are working closely with our partners, including South Wales Police, to ensure that the thronging crowds that we usually see around this weekend do not happen during this period.

“Please – think twice, stay away, and stay safe.”

For mountain bikers

We’ve mapped the key Welsh trail centres and the lockdown zones, so that the mountain biking community can see what this means for you.

Boundary markers are approximate

Bike Park Wales is closed, since it is right inside the restricted area. As part of Neath Port Talbot Afan is also inside the restricted zone, as are the new trails at nearby Margam Park. Anyone travelling through the lockdown zones – perhaps aiming for trail centres further north – are encouraged to avoid stopping unless essential. You’re encouraged to plan your journey accordingly.

Trails at Afan and Margam Park are now inside the extra restricted zones.

For full and up to date details of the Welsh areas subject to additional lockdown measures, visit the Welsh Government website.


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