Coronavirus: People 'have got the message' and stayed home

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image captionPolice set up a check point at Storey Arms, where crowds gathered last weekend

A week after "unprecedented" crowds at Wales' most popular places, people appear to "have got the message" they should stay home due to coronavirus.

The Welsh Government responded by imposing severe curbs on people's lives, with fines for disobeying.

It came after thousands of people clogged up national parks, parks and beaches despite warnings to stay home.

But with warnings all week and police out in force across Wales on Saturday, the crowds have stayed away.

One mountain rescue leader described the flood of people a week ago as like a "bank holiday on steroids".

These were the eerie scenes in a usually bustling Cardiff city centre today

Posted by BBC Wales News on Saturday, March 28, 2020
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Snowdonia National Park Authority said last Saturday was "its busiest ever visitor day in living memory".

But one councillor in Bala, which is inside the national park, said it was a different story this weekend.

image captionPeople have "at last got the message", according to Councillor Dilwyn Morgan

"It seems to have gone quiet this weekend, at long last," said Councillor Dilwyn Morgan.

"I think that people at last have got the message."

On Saturday, Dyfed Powys Police set up check points and patrols at popular sites such as Storey Arms, near Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons.

image captionDyfed Powys Police set up check points and patrols at popular sites such as Storey Arms, near Pen y Fan
image captionBarry Island, one of the busiest places in Wales last weekend, was very quiet on Saturday

"There's been a lot of partnership working between the police, Gwynedd Council, the national park and local people to be fair," Mr Morgan added.

North Wales Police Chief Constable Carl Foulkes said the force had the power to arrest people not adhering to the rules, but said doing so is "a last resort".

image captionThere was a lot of anger among Bala residents last weekend due to large crowds
image captionBut the car parks were empty on Saturday

"We want people to do the right thing and change their lifestyle approach, change what they are doing," he told BBC Radio Wales Breakfast.

He said patrol officers turned around "small numbers" of people coming into North Wales to go camping and fishing on Friday.

image captionBarmouth beach, usually a hive of activity when the sun is out
image copyrightDyfed Powys Police
image captionDyfed Powys Police made their presence felt in Carew, Pembrokeshire

Mr Foulkes said patrols would continue on Saturday to avoid a repeat of the influx of visitors seen in Snowdonia and elsewhere last weekend.

"Snowdonia, joking apart, was busier than the M25," he said.

"This isn't about use of police powers, this is about protecting our NHS and getting our country through the biggest crisis in living memory."

image captionA sign at Cwm-y-Glo, Gwynedd, which reads 'Cofiwch Golchi Dwylo', which translates as 'Remember to wash your hands'

And South Wales Police said officers will be patrolling parks, beaches and forestry to ensure people are not breaching restrictions.

In Bangor, Gwynedd, a group of peacocks were filmed wandering empty streets by online newspaper, The Bangor Aye.

Bangor Peacocks

The Bangor Peacocks claiming the High Street during the lockdown (video Pont Bendigeidfran)

Posted by The Bangor Aye on Friday, March 27, 2020
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