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Police urge English to ‘check the rules’ after turning away 1,000 cars from Welsh village

Dyfed-Powys Police said 72% of people reported for lockdown breaches have been from outside their area.

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All laybys are closed along the A470 near Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park (Ben Birchall/PA)

All laybys are closed along the A470 near Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park (Ben Birchall/PA)

All laybys are closed along the A470 near Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons National Park (Ben Birchall/PA)

A police force in Wales has urged English visitors to check its lockdown rules after being forced to turn away 1,000 cars from a beauty spot in just two days.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they have stopped tourists from as far as London who had travelled to a picturesque area in the Brecon Beacons known as “waterfall country” last weekend.

On Friday the force said many of the drivers stopped in the village of Ystradfellte claimed they did not know Wales has a five-mile limit for non-essential journeys.

Meanwhile in England people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access beauty spots.

A spokeswoman for the force said: “Police in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.”

She added: “Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.”

Offenders include a doctor from London who travelled to Brecon to buy lamb, a group from Devon who made a 350-mile round trip to Wisemans Bridge, Pembrokeshire, to “look at the beach”, and a birthday party from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, who came to Elan Valley, Powys, for a barbecue.

The force said 72% of people reported for breaches of coronavirus restrictions in Powys, Mid Wales, since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

Superintendent Steve Davies said: “Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

In Wales fines for repeated breaches of lockdown regulations start at £60 but double for each repeated offence to a maximum of £1,920.

Wales’ three national parks, including Snowdon in North Wales, the Elan Valley in Mid Wales, and the Pembrokeshire coast in West Wales all remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

PA