The mountains will still be there after lockdown, police said. Photo: Snowdonia NPA

The mountains will still be there after lockdown, police said. Photo: Snowdonia NPA

Police are urging people who may be tempted to travel to the Snowdonia mountains by the prospect of snow-covered peaks not to break Covid-19 regulations.

North Wales Police made the plea as half-term holidays begin and more snow is forecast for the area.

The force said, despite the mountains looking inviting, people are urged to continue to stay home and keep travel for essential purposes only.

Chief Superintendent Nigel Harrison said: “Wales remains at level-four restrictions and travel is for essential reasons only.

“With yet more snow forecast for this weekend, coupled with the start of the half-term break there is concern that people could be tempted to flout the restrictions.

“We continue to appeal to everybody to stay at home and not to travel for exercise. Exercise should start and finish from home – unless you have specific mobility issues where you can drive a short distance. Nobody should be travelling unless absolutely essential.

“We know the mountains of Snowdonia look fantastic, but now is not the time to be taking unnecessary risks by venturing up for exercise in wintry conditions, especially as our hospitals and ambulance service are still under extreme pressure.

“Last weekend saw a mountain rescue volunteer in Cumbria being seriously injured after he fell while rescuing two men who had gone camping on a mountain-top between Patterdale and Ambleside.

“Nobody sets off for a day in the hills or mountains expecting to be rescued. However experienced and knowledgeable you may feel you are most rescues are the result of simple slips and trips.”

Police said additional patrols will continue and road checks will take place in popular beauty spots. Officers, PCSO’s and special constables will be stopping people travelling to the area to ensure journeys are for essential purposes only. The road stops will include checking for people who may be travelling to their second homes.

Chief Superintendent Harrison added: “Travelling into Wales for exercise or without a reasonable excuse is not permitted, and the sooner we can continue to slow the spread of the virus the sooner we can welcome people back here.

“Increasing the population of our area will place an unreasonable burden on our NHS and other key workers who are working hard to ensure the safety of everyone.

“People should not think of ways of circumventing the law and the police should not be needed to reinforce commonsense. Focusing on what might result in a fine misses the point of why we’ve been asked to stay at home: to prevent the virus spreading and save people’s lives – including your own or those of your loved ones.

“We also continue to urge holiday-home owners not to travel to their properties for the time being. This is not essential travel. Please stay in your primary residence.

“We will be operating in a visible way on our road networks and in towns and villages ensuring that people are complying with the restrictions.

“The mountains, beaches and countryside will be here when this is over for us all to enjoy and everyone will look forward to welcoming visitors back once it is safe again to do so. Until then please stay home, protect the NHS, save lives.”

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