EASTER bank holiday is here, and the public have been urged to enjoy the weekend responsibly.
Welsh Government restrictions on travel have eased, allowing people in Wales to travel freely within the country, but the coronavirus pandemic is not yet over.
People are being urged to be safe over the weekend and to avoid anti-social behaviour, including littering.
Last weekend, a ‘small minority’ of people were criticised after leaving litter at Barry Island, risking a £100 fine.
Barry Town Mayor, Cllr Margaret Wilkinson, said: “We are extremely disappointed with the minority of visitors who left Barry Island and other public spaces in the mess that was seen yesterday.
“Barry as a town has some amazing outside spaces available to residents and visitors. It does not take much for people to pack up their rubbish in a bag and take it home or bin it in one of the many bins along the front.
“There is no excuse to leave any rubbish on the beach, especially as the Vale of Glamorgan regularly empty the bins throughout the day, particularly at busy times. It is so sad that the minority are spoiling it for everyone.”
Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Cllr Neil Moore, added: “The last year has been tough on everyone. We have needed to stay inside for long periods, so I fully understand people’s desire to visit our coastal locations now that restrictions are starting to ease.
“What’s more, we are delighted to welcome them – but only if they can behave in a considerate manner, showing respect for the resorts, residents and other visitors.
“If that’s not possible, if you are intent on drinking too much, littering, or engaging in any other form of anti-social behaviour, my message is simple: Stay at home.
“Don’t come to the Vale because we don’t want you here.”
South Wales Police Chief Superintendent Valentine said: “It’s been a tough year for us all, and I’m sure we are all glad to see the return of some warmer weather and the chance to get out and enjoy it.
“However, Covid-19 remains a dangerous disease. It is still prevalent in our communities and, sadly, in some part of South Wales the infection rate is increasing.
“As many restrictions are no longer in force, personal responsibility is critical if we are to prevent a third wave of infections. We all have a responsibility to make sensible choices when we are out and about, maintaining social distancing and not putting ourselves and others at unnecessary risk.
“Anti-social behaviour and criminality has a detrimental impact on our communities and we will be patrolling key areas over the coming days to prevent such activity.
“The vast majority who are attending beauty spots are doing so in accordance with the regulations and we are not there to monitor visitor numbers and prevent those visiting in a law-abiding manner from enjoying. We are there to ensure public safety.
“Our officers will continue to engage with our communities to help them understand the restrictions that do remain in place and we remain unapologetic about enforcing flagrant breaches by a selfish minority.”
South Wales Police would like to remind the public that house parties and indoor gatherings are still prohibited. They’ve also reinforced that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.
“In recent days we’ve seen a small number of concerning incidents where a small minority have shown hostility and violence towards our officers who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep our communities safe,” said Chief Superintendent Valentine.
“Our officers and staff do not come to work to be assaulted and abused and I want to be clear that robust action will be taken.
“No one wants to see another lockdown and your support will make sure the sacrifices we have made over the last six months are not lost.”