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Police in Barry & Gower turn away visitors for Covid breaches

POLICE officers are turning away visitors to Barry Island and other beauty spots this weekend.

The sunny weather has drawn crowds to seaside areas across South Wales, and the police said officers were conducting vehicle checks to make sure people weren’t breaching the coronavirus travel rules.

South Wales Police said it was using enforcement as a “last resort where necessary”, and officers have issued “a number of fines” across the force area over the weekend.

“Proactive vehicle checks to ascertain reasons for travel and high-visibility patrols are being carried out this weekend to ensure Covid lockdown restrictions are being met,” a spokeswoman for South Wales Police said today (Sunday).

“Particular attention has been paid to beauty spots including Barry Island, Southerndown, Mumbles, Caswell, Langland and Cardiff Bay where concerns have been raised by local residents about crowds of people.

“We continue to work closely with our local authority partners who have taken steps to close a number of car parks in these areas.”

In Swansea, the council said it had closed three car parks next to popular beaches in the Gower area following a request by South Wales Police.

Car parks at Bracelet Bay, Caswell Bay, and Langland Bay are all closed today.

“We know it’s great weather out there but Welsh Government rules mean we should not drive to any location for daily exercise,” Swansea Council said.

In South East Wales, Gwent Police said it had fined two people who had travelled an “unreasonable and unnecessary distance” to the Cwmcarn area – a place popular with walkers and cyclists.

On Saturday, officers in Gwent counted more than 100 vehicles in the car park at Parc Bryn Bach, a lake and walking route near Tredegar.

“The vast majority of people are continuing to do the right thing and are making sacrifices to protect themselves, their loved ones and the NHS,” said Chief Superintendent Andy Valentine, of South Wales Police. “We cannot afford to undo all the progress that has been made to date.”

He added: “Flagrant breaches cannot be tolerated and we will continue to respond to concerns from our communities, carry out proactive patrols and work closely with our local authority partners on the Joint Enforcement Teams to ensure those who blatantly or repeatedly breach the rules are met with enforcement action.”

— What are the rules on exercising?

The Welsh Government recently relaxed the rules slightly, to allow up to four people (not including carers or children aged under 11) – from a maximum of two households – to meet outdoors for exercise.

But the rule on ‘local’ exercise remains unchanged.

“Exercise must start and finish from your home,” the Welsh Government’s guidance currently reads. “You should not travel to meet with someone outside of your household or support bubble.”

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