Walkers and climbers will not be allowed to travel to Wales's mountains. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Walkers and climbers will not be allowed to travel to Wales's mountains. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Wales will be out of bounds to visiting outdoor enthusiasts from Friday, and other parts of the UK will be subject to increased restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis.

Travel to and from Wales for exercise will be prohibited, and people in Wales will be expected only to start their walks or rides from home.

People in the highest, tier-three areas of England are also advised not to travel outside the area, and the Scottish Government said people in the central belt should restrict their travel.

Ayrshire and Arran, the Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and the Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian are the affected areas.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to announce a move into a five-tier restriction regime from 2 November.

The Northern Ireland Executive said all unnecessary travel should be avoided and no gatherings of more than 15 people are permitted.

Governments have introduced the more stringent lockdowns because of concern around Covid-19 infections.

The Welsh Government is imposing a ‘fire-break’ lockdown from 6pm on Friday, which will cover the whole nation and replace any local restrictions currently in place.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “It is with a heavy heart that I once again ask everyone to stay at home and businesses to shut.

“We are all tired of coronavirus and the many rules and regulations we all have to live with. We all want to see an end to this pandemic and our lives returned to us. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a vaccine, which will allow us to do that.

“This fire-break is our best chance of regaining control of the virus and avoiding a much longer – and damaging – national lockdown. We have a small window of opportunity to act.

“To be successful, we need everyone’s help. Wales has shown throughout this pandemic that we can come together and take the actions to keep our families and our communities safe.

“We must come together once again to stay ahead of this virus and to save lives.”

The Cardiff administration said people should only leave their home for certain reasons, one of which is to exercise, alone or with members of their household. “We encourage this to be done locally,” it said.

The Welsh Government said: “Whenever you leave home, you should try to minimise time spent outside of the home, and ensure you stay at least two metres away from anyone you don’t live with or are in a permitted ‘bubble’ with.”

Exercise is allowed, but should start from people’s home. “You can leave home as often as you like to exercise as long as you do so from home and alone or with members of your household or a carer.”

There is no limit to exercise, but the authorities said risky activities should be avoided as they increase the likelihood of putting a strain on NHS resources. There is no limit on how far you walk or cycle during exercise, but social interaction should be avoided.

“Exercise should be undertaken locally – from home or as close as possible to the home,” the Welsh Government said. “In general this should not involve people driving to a location away from home for this purpose. No journeys of any significant distance should be taken, for example, just in order to exercise in the countryside or at beauty spots.”

People will not be allowed to travel to Wales for a holiday, nor will residents in Wales be able to travel abroad for a holiday.

Travellers from other parts of the UK will be permitted to transit through Wales, for instance to reach an airport or ferry services to Ireland, but stops and contact with Welsh residents should be minimised.

The lockdown is due to end on 9 November. Fixed penalties starting at £60 and rising to £1,920 for repeat offenders can be issued under the regulations.

All of south Wales's peaks will be out of bounds to visitors from outside the area. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

All of south Wales's peaks will be out of bounds to visitors from outside the area. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael said: “The very worrying rise in coronavirus across Wales has resulted in Welsh Government imposing a short, sharp firebreak lockdown from 6pm on Friday 23 October.

“Sadly, this will return us to the situation earlier in the year when we were instructed to stay at home except for a limited number of reasons. I fully support the very responsible steps taken by ministers in Wales to introduce these measures to regain control of the virus to reduce the pressure on the NHS.

“As has been the case throughout this public health emergency, South Wales Police officers will play their part in encouraging people to play their part by following the rules.

“As the First Minister quite rightly pointed out, simply relying on police enforcement to get people to comply with the restrictions will mean that they will fail.

“This is a public health emergency and preventing the spread of coronavirus is a responsibility that is shared by everybody and local authority staff and police officers have worked well together across South Wales through very difficult and challenging times. But I want to stress that the responsibility lies with every single one of us – we must take individual and collective responsibility.

“If we don’t all take personal responsibility we will all pay a price – and while it is a minority who flout the rules we all need to play a part in explaining to them that it really does matter.

“Our officers have shown how that can be done with the ‘4Es’ approach – they have engaged people, they’ve explained the rules, they’ve encouraged people to follow them and if necessary they have enforced the law.”

In areas of England under tier one restrictions, gatherings larger than six are banned, though organised outdoor sports of up to 30 people can take place if they are overseen by a registered instructor, business, charity, club or national governing body.

In the growing number of areas in England under tier two lockdown, people should additionally aim to reduce the number of journeys they make and walk or cycle if they can, avoiding busy public transport routes and times.

Much of northern England, including parts of the High Peak, West Yorkshire, Northumberland, the South Pennines and Western Pennines and Forest of Bowland and Pendle are subject to the high-level risk restrictions, plus north-east England, all London boroughs and parts of Essex.

In tier three, which covers Greater Manchester, parts of Merseyside and from Saturday South Yorkshire, people should avoid visiting the areas or, if they are resident in them, leaving them, except for work, education and caring duties. Additional areas are expected to be placed in tier three in the near future,

Residents of tier three areas should also avoid staying overnight in other areas, and visitors to these parts of England should also avoid overnight stays.

Northern Ireland’s regulations were introduced on 16 October for four weeks.

Up to 15 people can meet outdoors, but you people should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as carrying out good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

People can travel for recreational purposes to outdoor open spaces such as a parks, forest parks and visitor attractions. Outdoor attractions, country parks and forest parks can remain open.

Access to static caravans remains open, but campsites and services for touring caravans must close.

Snowdonia National Park Authority announced that, because of the new lockdown, the volunteer warden season on Yr Wyddfa – Snowdon – has come to an end earlier than planned.

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