Coronavirus: Coastal visitors told to avoid 'unnecessary risks'

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image copyrightJeremy Bolwell/Geograph
image captionThe RNLI warned people seeking exercise in places like Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire to take care

People seeking fresh air on the Welsh coast while coronavirus social-distancing measures apply have been warned against taking "unnecessary risks".

The RNLI said beaches and coastal areas could see an increase in visitors this weekend and beyond as people seek exercise in open spaces.

But the charity said the coast "can also present dangers".

It is asking people to ensure they follow essential water-safety advice.

Chris Cousens, RNLI regional water safety lead, said: "Our beaches and coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, so we're urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.

"The weather might be improving but it's important to remember that the water is very cold this time of year."

He added: "'As with all public places, we'd encourage people to follow guidelines provided by the government to maintain a two-metre (6.5ft) distance, follow good hygiene practices and avoid mass gatherings."

media captionStaying active and healthy at home

He said lifeboat stations and shops were currently closed to the public, but lifeboats and stations remain fully operational.

The RNLI told people to take note of signs at beaches advising of the local hazards, to check tide times to avoid being cut off and to check weather conditions before setting out as these can change quickly.

It also urged people fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing or just going for a walk to:

  • Take care if walking near cliffs - know your route
  • Check tide times daily
  • If going afloat, carry a means for calling for help and always wear a lifejacket
  • Check your equipment is in good working order
  • Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so

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