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NEWS: Local Lockdowns Affect North Wales Crags and Hills

Sadly just been announced by Welsh Government that local lockdowns are to be imposed on the counties of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flint and Wrexham from 6pm on Thursday October 1st.

This effectively makes it an offence for any one to travel to or from any of these counties unless its for listed exempt activites such as for work, education or medical purposes.  This will have a massive impact on access to both North Wales Limestone for climbing  venues and for much of northern Snowdonia as the Ogwen Valley, Carneddau, the eastern side of the Glyderau, Moel Siabod, etc. are all within Conwy Council, while most of clwyd limestone is within Denbighshire and only residents of the county that these venues fall within, will be able to access these areas.  for recreation or holiday purposes.  

https://gov.wales/local-coronavirus-restrictions-introduced-control-outbreaks-north-wales

We'll update the BMC website as soon as possible.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/coronavirus-update-new-rule-of-6

Elfyn Jones

BMC Access & Conservation Offcier (Wales)

Post edited at 19:40
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In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Thanks for the update Elfyn.

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In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Diolch. 

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In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Thanks. Apparently travelling on the A55 to get to Gwynedd / Anglesey is ok (see towards the end of the article). Which makes sense but I suspect it would be impossible to police the A55 anyway.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-54346608

Whether it’s wise to travel is another question - I think the answer is ‘it depends’. How long before Gwynedd and Ynys Mon have their local lockdowns is also something to ponder...

I hope this doesn’t lead to a return of some of the nasty attitudes adopted by some of the locals back in spring (not just in Wales).

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 Dave the Rave 29 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Thanks. Apparently travelling on the A55 to get to Gwynedd / Anglesey is ok (see towards the end of the article). Which makes sense but I suspect it would be impossible to police the A55 anyway.

> Whether it’s wise to travel is another question - I think the answer is ‘it depends’. How long before Gwynedd and Ynys Mon have their local lockdowns is also something to ponder...

> I hope this doesn’t lead to a return of some of the nasty attitudes adopted by some of the locals back in spring (not just in Wales).

You’re living in a dreamworld lad. 

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 AukWalk 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Sad that the sledgehammer is coming out again, was hoping we wouldn't have any more blanket travel bans even for solo outdoor activity in the national parks

Hope restrictions are relaxed soon and that this isn't a sign of things to come in England. 

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 Dave the Rave 30 Sep 2020
In reply to AukWalk:

According to the local paper, people from England can travel to Gwynedd and Anglesey which means Snowdonia is open?? 

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

As Elfyn said above part of Snowdonia is in Conwy so Ogwen and the Carneddau are off limits.

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In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Has anyone found a good web map with county boundaries and some background mapping to actually figure out where I can go without breaking the law?

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 danieleaston 30 Sep 2020
In reply to k_os:

Google maps is pretty good. If you type 'Conwy county' into google, press maps, it will find 'Conwy Principal area' and highlight the border in pink. You can then see the border going over the Carnedds, Glyders etc

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In reply to pancakeandchips:

The Ogwen car park (by the hostel) is actually in Gwynedd (by a matter of metres).  There's a lot of stuff out of bounds, though.

Post edited at 12:17
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In reply to k_os:

> Has anyone found a good web map with county boundaries and some background mapping to actually figure out where I can go without breaking the law?

maps.bing.com has OS maps which have the boundaries marked, near enough definitively.

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 Dave the Rave 30 Sep 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

> As Elfyn said above part of Snowdonia is in Conwy so Ogwen and the Carneddau are off limits.

Indeed.

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 Sl@te Head 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

It will be interesting to see how they Police Ogwen this weekend!

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 Red Rover 30 Sep 2020
In reply to danieleaston:

Thanks, it's a shame the pink line disappears when you zoom in though, seems like a strange design! 

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 Chris_Mellor 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Walk up Glyder Fawr from Pen y Gwryd - no-one is going to police the Conwy county border as you go up the hill

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 Dave the Rave 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Sl@te Head:

> It will be interesting to see how they Police Ogwen this weekend!

Yeah. I can’t go as I’m in a lockdown area but I have the clwydians to go at.

Its just going to cram more people into a smaller space with very limited parking.

Its blocks!

The case reporting and reasoning is flawed too. Back in March, nearly everyone I worked with was testing positive and our patients. Now I don’t even know of one person in our area who is positive outside a tertiary care hospital(touchwood).

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 LJH 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

I give in.. just gonna spend my money abroad, the rules are more predictable. Maybe that's what the government wants?? Sorry Wales... But the current approach is too illogical and unpredictable.

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 Webster 30 Sep 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

'local lock downs' which include something like 3/4 of the population and most of the economic heart of wales... why dont they stop beating round the bush and just call it a lockdown?

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In reply to Webster:

> 'local lock downs' which include something like 3/4 of the population and most of the economic heart of wales... why dont they stop beating round the bush and just call it a lockdown?

The lockdowns don't stop most businesses from operating normally and now that the holiday season is effectively over, it probably won't massively effect the tourism sector either.

Reading some of the comments on this thread and it does seem to boil down to "I can't walk/climb where I want to and when I want to - it's not fair!". Well, sorry you can't. 

Here's the similar thread from six months ago:
https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/rock_talk/um__folks__we_need_to_talk_about_this-717331?v=1#x9155556
There appears to be a huge difference in acceptance of the lockdowns.  
Why is that?
Pragmatism - We've learnt enough about the virus so the old rules are redundant?
Forgetting that the virus spreads exponentially?
Not giving a shit, I want a holiday...



 

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In reply to FactorXXX:

One of the things we have learnt is that transmission outside isn't a big deal. Tourists were all over Snowdonia since restrictions eased and cases didn't increase. Then schools and universities go back at the same time and all of a sudden cases start increasing rapidly, initially amongst younger people. Hmm, I wonder why? Who could have possibly predicted that bunging a load of kids together in close proximity might lead to an increase in cases?

Meanwhile restrictions are needed to bring the second wave under control, but closing schools and businesses will be bad for the economy, so instead the Welsh government falls back on authoritarian measures stopping people from travelling, because they have to do *something*. Most of the population of Wales is now under lockdown because transmission is increasing in most places. Stopping people travelling between areas won't slow that down, shutting the schools and bringing back measures that stop people from congregating (eg in pubs) might.

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In reply to pancakeandchips:

> One of the things we have learnt is that transmission outside isn't a big deal. Tourists were all over Snowdonia since restrictions eased and cases didn't increase. Then schools and universities go back at the same time and all of a sudden cases start increasing rapidly, initially amongst younger people. Hmm, I wonder why? Who could have possibly predicted that bunging a load of kids together in close proximity might lead to an increase in cases?
> Meanwhile restrictions are needed to bring the second wave under control, but closing schools and businesses will be bad for the economy, so instead the Welsh government falls back on authoritarian measures stopping people from travelling, because they have to do *something*. Most of the population of Wales is now under lockdown because transmission is increasing in most places. Stopping people travelling between areas won't slow that down, shutting the schools and bringing back measures that stop people from congregating (eg in pubs) might.

That just comes across as a set of rambling excuses to justify what you personally want...

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In reply to FactorXXX:

What I personally want is to see some measures put in place that will save lives. What I don't want are arbitrary restrictions brought in as a substitute for actually dealing with the problem. Is that succinct enough for you?

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 LJH 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

The current set of restrictions/approach could be interpreted as a fun ban. There needs to be a better balance.

Suppose if career driven materialistic politicians make decisions then that's what approach we can expect for the foreseeable...

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

It would be hugely damaging to children in all sorts of ways to shut schools again. So something else has to give. But I'm with you that there doesn't seem any good reason to shut the hills again. I'd go with shutting all pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops again in these problem areas

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> It would be hugely damaging to children in all sorts of ways to shut schools again. So something else has to give. But I'm with you that there doesn't seem any good reason to shut the hills again. I'd go with shutting all pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops again in these problem areas

Hmm. I’m with you in some respects and apologise that you cannot get to the hills, but preventing access to infected areas is a good way of stopping people taking it home to low infected areas.

You could just ask visitors not to use the shops/toilets petrol stations etc, but then where is the benefit of attracting visitors to local economy?

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

The national park isn't just a cash cow, it's a national resource which is there for everyone's physical and psychological well-being.

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

I agree, but I think we need to take some drastic measures soon if we don't want to spend the next year in lockdown... I think the circuit-breaker idea sounds sensible to break the chain of transmission. Made a big effort to get everyone in the country on board with the idea that we'll spend two or three weeks with absolutely everything shut down barring skeleton staff on essential services. Maybe if everyone knows that the restrictions are a temporary fixed term they'll be more likely to stick to them rigidly?

It would take some competent political leadership though.

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 john arran 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

> It would take some competent political leadership though.

Good luck with that.

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Wot pancakeandchips said. If I drive to a remote car park in the North Wales hills without stopping anywhere on the way, have a nice day out in those hills and keep well away from people, what possible harm am I doing?

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 Red Rover 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

Is that why it's £10 (or is it £20) to park at Pen Y Pass?

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

> I think the circuit-breaker idea sounds sensible to break the chain of transmission

I agree

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> Wot pancakeandchips said. If I drive to a remote car park in the North Wales hills without stopping anywhere on the way, have a nice day out in those hills and keep well away from people, what possible harm am I doing?

None at all. But to be fair you can’t legislate for those that aren’t doing this so we all get placed in the same boat.

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In reply to Red Rover:

The national park isn't *just* a cash cow ;-)

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Why not make it illegal for anyone, local or non local, to visit pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops in the affected areas of North Wales instead of making it illegal for me to come from England and climb Tryfan without coming into close contact with anyone?

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 peter.herd 01 Oct 2020
In reply to FactorXXX:

"The lockdowns don't stop most businesses from operating normally and now that the holiday season is effectively over, it probably won't massively effect the tourism sector either."

I'd be interested to hear your evidence for those statements. 

Pete 

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

Because it is not all about you. 

There are all sorts of whys and wherefores which went round and round in circles here an elsewhere from March onwards. 

Everyone is mummy special soldier, myself included, everyone wants special dispensation for their activities. 

The hard truth is that to make gains against the virus, we all need to make sacrifices, whether we feel they are justified or not. 

Allowing you in under your terms means allowing the next user in who "just pops into the pub/toilet/shop, no harm done". 

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 MikeSP 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

The economic benefit of the locals going out to pubs, shops etc will far out weigh the benefit of people climbing tryfan without coming into contact with anyone.

Post edited at 11:23
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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Why should my harmless and healthy walk in the hills be banned when  thousands of pub goers breathing covid all over each other are not banned? 

Why should I not be allowed in the hills just because some other hill goers might stop at a local shop on the way to the hills?

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to MikeSP:

So if it's all about the economy, do you agree that me going up Tryfan and not coming into contact with anyone would be harmless even if illegal?

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 neilh 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

I would not worry. The way the Police enforced the rules last time in Wales will mean you have no chance of going up Tryfan.Just argue it out with them when they stop you on the A5.

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

> Why should my harmless and healthy walk in the hills be banned when  thousands of pub goers breathing covid all over each other are not banned? 

Whataboutery won't get you anywhere. 

> Why should I not be allowed in the hills just because some other hill goers might stop at a local shop on the way to the hills?

Whilst you are quite clearly trustworthy and upstanding, not all are. Admitting one admits all. 

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

I'm all for making sacrifices for the greater good when they actually are justified. When they're nonsensical, not so much, and when they're brought in as political cover for not making harder and more unpopular decisions, not at all. If the Welsh government passed a law requiring everyone to wear a hair shirt to fight covid would you obey?

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 MikeSP 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Yes, but it's not worth closing the local economy down for.

What you're implying is a harder lockdown for the locals so others can come and have fun. While not adding to the local economy.

Post edited at 11:30
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In reply to MikeSP:

It's not necessary to shut down the local economy so that tourists can come to the hills, it's necessary to shut it down to stop people from dying. People responsibly enjoying access to the hills has no bearing on that.

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 MikeSP 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

It was a reply to sam's

"Why not make it illegal for anyone, local or non local, to visit pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops in the affected areas of North Wales instead of making it illegal for me to come from England and climb Tryfan without coming into close contact with anyone?"

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

Crikey, was it really that bad in the last lockdown in North Wales? I drive around the fringes of the Peak District a lot for work (my work is classed as essential) and was given a letter by my employer back in April to show the police in case I got stopped. Whilst I saw more police around than usual for a few weeks, they didn't seem to be stopping many drivers

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

No it wasn't that bad at all. I was driving round North Wales most days for work all through lockdown and didn't get stopped once. They were out and about more visibly than usual but didn't seem to want to bother getting out of their cars.

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 neilh 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Yes that is what happened.Basically the A5 was blocked off etc etc.

So your view is a bit futile.

They were turning round people, and then people got the message.

It was well enforced in Wales.

And its pretty easy to enforce around the mountains as there are only a few roads.

Post edited at 12:05
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 3 Names 01 Oct 2020
In reply to pancakeandchips:

Tourists were all over Snowdonia since restrictions eased and cases didn't increase. 

News flash for you, cases have increased! Thats literally why we are having this discussion. 

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to neilh:

Given that Conwy is shut but Gwynedd is open I can't see that happening this time (if someone is heading for the west side of the national park)

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to 3 Names:

Cases have increased because of schools going back, badly run workplaces and pubs being open. Not because of people visiting  hills or beaches

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 Sam Beaton 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

So you're comfortable with hills being out of bounds when visiting them and climbing them generally makes no difference to covid cases and pubs staying open even though going to them generally spreads covid?

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 3 Names 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Yes and people visiting hills, also go to school, badly run workplaces and pubs.

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In reply to 3 Names:

The tourists arrived en masse 3 months ago now and it's been an incredibly busy summer season which started getting quieter around the beginning of September. The increase in cases in the last two weeks in the populous northern counties is clearly not related to this.

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 neilh 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

Only time will tell and I would agree with you. But I would be wary about making assumptions.It caught alot of people out last time including people who had driven from down South and were turned back.

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

Like I said, Whataboutery. 

There are all sorts of contradictions in the covid regulations, I am not defending them. 

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> Why not make it illegal for anyone, local or non local, to visit pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops in the affected areas of North Wales instead of making it illegal for me to come from England and climb Tryfan without coming into close contact with anyone?

There’s a lot of well run businesses and pubs etc where I would have no fear of catching Covid. The people in the lockdown areas still have to make a living and have some sort of life.A good majority work in the public sector and should not be denied what people have access to In England outside work. Not for the sake of one person climbing a hill. Go to the Peak District? It’s not too much of a sacrifice is it?

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 GrahamD 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> Cases have increased because of schools going back, badly run workplaces and pubs being open. Not because of people visiting  hills or beaches

Cases have increased because of increased social interaction, full stop.  Badly managed workplaces and pubs need to be dealt with, for sure, but the legislation allows that to happen.

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In reply to AukWalk:

An exemption for travel for activities which only involve household members and are away from other people makes sense on one level but the issue is that it would make things even more confusing and harder to enforce. Although how on earth inter-county travel restrictions are going to be enforced is another matter. I suspect the underlying assumption is that X% of people who would normally travel inter-county (50% say) would stick with it, which is better than everyone travelling around as before.

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In reply to FactorXXX:

There will be less acceptance this time round because a lot of people will wonder what the point of some of these restrictions is, given the virus has come back pretty soon after things got opened up. I hope this will be the last set of lockdowns before a vaccine comes along to allow life to get back to more or less normal by this time next year. If there isn’t an effective vaccine... I don’t know what the answer would be but we can’t live like this forever. Restrictions on climbing is small dry really, it’s all the people losing jobs and having non Covid medical treatment delayed. Mass testing would be the way I guess. But I digress.  

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

Yeah. If I spread my legs wide enough I can be in two counties and technically fined twice 

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In reply to pancakeandchips:

Schools have to stay open, they should be the last places to close. Cases were already going up back in August. Pubs and the like - yeah, they should be takeaway only or shut and the staff placed on furlough or given something useful to do by the government. However that’s ideologically unacceptable to Boris & Co.

You are right about the outdoors though. Unfortunately making sensible exceptions is too much like hard work for the government and more importantly would add to the confusion and difficulty of enforcement. Climbers are unlucky in that our sport / passion is relatively low Covid risk (or no risk if done with household members or alone) but relies on lengthy travel for most people. All I can say is that inevitably a lot of people will ‘take a view’ on the rules.

I doubt Boris will impose movement restrictions in England or at least not for a while yet. Personally I’m happy to avoid the restricted areas in Wales as there’s plenty of climbing to be done in England and it’s grit season anyway but I feel sorry for those living in or near the restricted areas. 

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

> It would be hugely damaging to children in all sorts of ways to shut schools again. So something else has to give. But I'm with you that there doesn't seem any good reason to shut the hills again. I'd go with shutting all pubs, restaurants, hotels and non essential shops again in these problem areas

Ah but £££. That would hurt the economy. I sort of get that we don’t really want to spend another £300bn but targeted measures to shut down problem sectors like pubs (and perhaps gyms and walls..) while supporting those businesses and staff would make sense and might cost less than the economic cost of another wave.

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

The whole ‘you might kill someone by using a petrol pump’ thing back in spring has turned out to be less of an issue. Scientific consensus now seems to be that it’s more about transmission through the air, hence the need for SD and masks. Still sensible to use gloves of course.

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In reply to neilh:

At the moment it is perfectly legal to drive up to Idwal Cottage from the Bethesda side. Parking might be an issue though! On the other hand, Conwy locals are perfectly entitled to drive drive up from Capel Curig and use all those (now empty?) parking spaces under Tryfan. The police would need to set up a road block next to Idwal Cottage. I’m curious to see if they have done this! Somewhat doubt it...

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

I can’t argue with a lot of what you are saying. Sensible posts.

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In reply to 3 Names:

> Yes and people visiting hills, also go to school, badly run workplaces and pubs.

Yes. But people visiting hills doesn’t spread Covid to anywhere the same extent.

It’s worth reflecting on what Sunak said - we’ll have to learn to live with it. Now his take seems to be, let’s keep the economy going and accept more deaths. My take is let’s avoid the high risk non essential activities like going to the pub or to the office and get on with low risk activities. 

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 Dave the Rave 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Yes. But people visiting hills doesn’t spread Covid to anywhere the same extent.

> It’s worth reflecting on what Sunak said - we’ll have to learn to live with it. Now his take seems to be, let’s keep the economy going and accept more deaths. My take is let’s avoid the high risk non essential activities like going to the pub or to the office and get on with low risk activities. 

That’s a little subjective though. Properly run pubs with compliant clientele may be less risky than a packed car park or hilltop on a still day with loads of shouty folk ?

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

It’s difficult to get the balance right and I totally see what people are saying on both sides of the debate. I do think that people need to adopt a rational approach. Some things are high risk, others medium or low risk. The issue at the moment is that there is little correlation between Covid risk level and what is permitted (as opposed to back in spring, when things were generally not permitted all round and most people sort of accepted that).

Just imagine the nationwide anguish when people realise that they might not be able to see family for Xmas... I’m actually fine with the idea of not seeing my parents - because I don’t want to risk infecting them, even if the risk of me having Covid is relatively low. In fact I’m not supposed to visit others indoors at all as those are the rules in my area (Brum) and I doubt there will be a Xmas dispensation! That’s a very sensible rule and I’m fine with it. Not being able to climb in Conwy is total nonsense though. 

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

In most areas you can still go to the pub with 5 other people from other households. There might be SD between different groups especially if it’s not busy. Often there is very little or no SD, from what I’ve seen (only been to the pub three times since March but there are a lot of bars round where I live). But one thing is for sure, there will be no SD within that group of six. 

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In reply to GrahamD:

Yes. Except it’s not happening. 

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In reply to peter.herd:

> "The lockdowns don't stop most businesses from operating normally and now that the holiday season is effectively over, it probably won't massively effect the tourism sector either."

> I'd be interested to hear your evidence for those statements. 

The lockdowns don't stop most businesses from operating normally
Most businesses can operate as long as they apply the appropriate measures to safeguard against it.  There'll be some that can't, but that is vastly lower than with the first Lockdown and the ones that can't open, seem to be the exception to the rule.

now that the holiday season is effectively over, it probably won't massively effect the tourism sector either.
People don't tend to go to North Wales in the Autumn and Winter months because the weather is normally rubbish. My parents live in Conway and the difference in visitor numbers when I visit in Summer against Winter is massive. 

Maybe more anecdotal as opposed to evidence I'll admit, but I believe it's a fairly true reflection of what is likely to be happening in North Wales at the moment/very near future.

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 baron 01 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

There are already several million people in England living under the guidance of essential travel only.

Merseyside joins them tomorrow.

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 Alex Riley 02 Oct 2020
In reply to baron:

North wales has been pretty busy the last few weekends, it’s been a bit quieter during the week but I’d say overall busier than usual for the time of year.

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 baron 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Alex Riley:

> North wales has been pretty busy the last few weekends, it’s been a bit quieter during the week but I’d say overall busier than usual for the time of year.

I was jokingly teasing my friends about how they lived in Conway and Wrexham and couldn’t travel while I could drive from Merseyside to Gwynedd. I should have known that would blow up in my face!

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 Sam Beaton 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> The issue at the moment is that there is little correlation between Covid risk level and what is permitted

My view in a nutshell

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 GrahamD 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Yes. Except it’s not happening. 

The fact that some workplaces  pubs etc flout the rules and are therefore significantly higher risk than our hobby isn't a valid justification for us to carry on regardless.   It's a valid justification to crack down on the rule breakers.  

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In reply to baron:

Yes. Guidance being the key word. People are free to apply guidance as they see fit.

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 Si dH 02 Oct 2020
In reply to baron:

> There are already several million people in England living under the guidance of essential travel only.

> Merseyside joins them tomorrow.

The guidance on travel in England (currently just the NE and from tomorrow also Merseyside and Warrington) is a bit fuzzy. It says you should only undertake essential travel within, to and from the area, such as travel for work or education. However it also says explicitly that you can go on holiday outside the area, either in or out of the UK. And one or two places state that it only applies to public transport (which I think is incorrect.) Because it is only guidance and not contained in any legislation, it is difficult to be sure exactly what is intended but I suspect that might be the intent, to make people more cautious about travelling without leaving the Gov themselves open to accusation of making silly rules for a particular situation.

Post edited at 08:42
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 spenser 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

I suspect you're far from the only one to be actively planning not to see family at Christmas.

If Derby isn't in Lockdown (local or national) by that point I suspect I will be up in Scotland doing Munros over Christmas and give the whole family christmas thing a miss (normal Christmas would involve 7 households from Derby, Leeds, Newcastle and Durham as my generation have mostly moved out, even without restrictions this would feel irresponsible at present).

Or I'll have a friend round if she is unable to see her family.

There are some benefits to this whole situation, not having things dictated by "how they've always been" is one of them.

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In reply to GrahamD:

I agree about crack down but there aren't the resources for that, so from the start of the 'unlock' in July I'd have limited pubs and restaurants to takeaway only and may be outdoors seating only (clearly that would come to an end soon due to the weather anyway), combined with sectoral financial support.

I really do not think that people going climbing or hill walking or taking part in other outdoor activities with household members or one or two non-household members is an issue (however I do think that if you're going to climb with non-household members you should keep the total number of your climbing partners to a minimum and ideally climb with other people who are WFH or live in smaller towns / villages - which is what I've been doing all summer).

This has always been my view, although I did comply with the lockdown back in spring. Given the total incompetence and lack of any coherent strategy shown by the government, I am very firmly of this view now. There are major Covid risks and issues which need to be addressed but aren't being properly addressed. Outdoor activities is not in that category.

I'm not advocating that people should break the bewildering array of local and national rules but the reality is that this time round many people will 'take a view' on the restrictions. I certainly don't think people need to blindly follow the guidance, given that it's not actually law. On the other hand, there are things which are perfectly legal and not against the guidance which it would be sensible not to do, depending on where you are in the country.

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 Sam Beaton 02 Oct 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Banning hill walking and climbing in half of Snowdonia smacks of "we can't politically or economically do what's needed to control the virus, so let's be seen to be doing something even though it'll make naff all difference to controlling it"

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 Sam Beaton 02 Oct 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> It's a valid justification to crack down on the rule breakers.  

I totally agree with this point though

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In reply to spenser:

Except the prospect of being able to travel freely within Scotland over Xmas is not high...

I know I've just said that some people will 'take a view' on the restrictions but it's one thing for people to travel from Conwy to climbing in the slate quarries for the day and another thing for someone from Birmingham to head up to Scotland for a weekend or longer (less of an issue if fully self contained in a van but even then a longer trip inevitably involves more interaction with local facilities and is also more visible to locals due to overnight stays - which goes to the point I was making back in spring that the key reason for moderating our activities is not Covid but the climbing community's relationships with stakeholders). So if Scotland bring in local or Scotland wide travel restrictions, which I think they will, I don't think I'd be travelling up there. Which is why I expect to do no winter climbing or skiing this winter (may be something in April if things have improved by then).

Having said that, if there are no travel restrictions then your idea sounds great and I'm sure other people will be doing something similar, particularly those with vans.

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

To be fair, they haven't done it specifically to ban climbing / hill walking, that's just a byproduct of the rules being a blunt instrument. The idea is to reduce travel out of high incidence areas and into low incidence areas, which makes sense in principle except that most of that travel probably falls under the various exemptions anyway. Essentially it's a crackdown on non-local travel for family, shopping or leisure reasons. Less family visits is good, less shopping is probably helpful but not a big deal (shops are relatively well socially distanced generally), less leisure makes no sense when it comes to outdoors leisure activities.

Local restrictions also make less sense when neighbouring areas are restricted and have similar incidence rates.

They also do nothing to tackle local spread. To be fair, there are other measures being put in place to tackle that, such as not meeting with other households indoors. However there should be more measures to deal with local spread (pubs and restaurants are just one example).

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In reply to Si dH:

This is one of the issues - it's a bewildering array of local measures. People hopefully know what the rules are in their local area but they can't reasonably be expected to keep up with the rules in other areas. They need a traffic light type system, with the same restrictions for each level, and this should be clearly advertised so people know which level applies where, eg government press conferences and hence national and local news, on billboards and public buildings and through social media (I assume it's possible to do location specific advertising on FB etc).

As for public transport, I think 'essential travel only' is just common sense throughout the whole country, unless the service is not at all busy, in which case no harm done (hard to tell in advance though).

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 tonanf 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

Have cases of people getting ill with c.virus increased, or positive test results? If its test results then we need to correlate number of tests conducted with positive results. And if its cases of actual illness/ fatality, then we need to at least know the demographic of those people to know what measures to control sperad.

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 MikeSP 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

"This is one of the issues - it's a bewildering array of local measures. People hopefully know what the rules are in their local area but they can't reasonably be expected to keep up with the rules in other areas."

As far as I'm aware all the Welsh local lockdowns are the same rules to help keep things simple.

"The idea is to reduce travel out of high incidence areas and into low incidence areas"

Also to keep people from worse effected areas out

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-54343943

It's crazy that our leaders can't even agree on one solution.

Post edited at 10:26
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 spenser 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

Yeah, if lockdown comes back to Scotland I won't go up, I only have so much DIY left to do in my house after being furloughed for a couple of weeks in the last lockdown!

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 Sam Beaton 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

your posts are far too balanced, considered and eloquent for these forums 😉

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 Chris H 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Elfyn Jones BMC Cymru/Wales:

There is a welsh cave system that has an entrance in a currently unlocked district but then passes into a currently locked down district.... probably not that many police patrols down there though 

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 Dave the Rave 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> It’s difficult to get the balance right and I totally see what people are saying on both sides of the debate. I do think that people need to adopt a rational approach. Some things are high risk, others medium or low risk. The issue at the moment is that there is little correlation between Covid risk level and what is permitted (as opposed to back in spring, when things were generally not permitted all round and most people sort of accepted that).

> Just imagine the nationwide anguish when people realise that they might not be able to see family for Xmas... I’m actually fine with the idea of not seeing my parents - because I don’t want to risk infecting them, even if the risk of me having Covid is relatively low. In fact I’m not supposed to visit others indoors at all as those are the rules in my area (Brum) and I doubt there will be a Xmas dispensation! That’s a very sensible rule and I’m fine with it. Not being able to climb in Conwy is total nonsense though. 

It’s a funny one the Xmas thing. I know lots of folk who are going to comply with our local lockdown, but for Xmas there is no chance that they will not see/have families around. If the current measures are adhered to for a month and then lifted for November with a 3 week lockdown in December pre Xmas, I see no reason for this not to happen.

Its a bad time to be depressing folk ( not you, the media and government)as we head into Winter. 
 

As for climbing in Conwy, I’m with everyone that says they want to do it and it’s low risk, but I don’t make the rules. I do take umbrage at people that advocate a harsher lockdown for locals so that they may be allowed to access the hills.

Technically I’ve broken the law 3 times in less than 24 hrs but all were risk assessed and low risk.

Regarding pubs. The local I’ve just visited doesn’t offer table service but is well catered for outside. Masks worn by all visitors to the bar and a one way system, it’s excellent. This can’t be compared to a city centre pub with folk slapping each other’s arses and hugging after a couple of beers pre making an arse of themselves in town and supermarkets. Harsher punishment for these folk and establishments I suggest.

The only issue was a guffawing buffoon outside( not me)spreading his vapour. 
Perhaps guffawing buffoons should face a harsh lockdown?

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 Sam Beaton 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Perhaps guffawing buffoons should face a harsh lockdown?

Like Boris you mean?

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 Dave the Rave 02 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

Yes there’s talk of an on/off circuit break approach but it would probably need to involve more stringent restrictions to work.

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 Dave the Rave 03 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Yes there’s talk of an on/off circuit break approach but it would probably need to involve more stringent restrictions to work.

Personally, I think that we are at a good half way point of restrictions in North Wales.

Any stricter and people will disobey any more lax and people will take liberties.

I haven’t seen the restrictions being policed but around here there is still the fear factor and there was general good compliance anyway.

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

I suspect they aren’t policed because they can’t be without investing massive resources - it would be harder to police than the general clampdown back in spring. As you say, a lot of it is done on trust. Getting X% of people to comply is better than doing nothing. However I suspect that to have a meaningful impact more stringent measures would be needed. 

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 Dave the Rave 03 Oct 2020
In reply to Misha:

> I suspect they aren’t policed because they can’t be without investing massive resources -would be harder to police than the general clampdown back in spring. As you say, a lot of it is done on trust. Getting X% of people to comply is better than doing nothing. However I suspect that to have a meaningful impact more stringent measures would be needed. 

Correct. I think that at the minute everyone who can’t be in a pub is in someone’s house with lots of other people. Further restrictions are pretty pointless I feel?

I think that most have done as much as they can but now we are in the hands of fate.

Post edited at 23:26
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 Sl@te Head 04 Oct 2020
 Dave the Rave 04 Oct 2020
In reply to Sl@te Head:

Inevitable unfortunately. I know of someone who was going to travel from an English lockdown area to Anglesey for a weeks holiday next week. Hopefully this will stop them. Sad, but needs doing.

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In reply to Dave the Rave:

Here you go, this is what might be needed. Might get watered down a bit but as the hospitals fill up they might have no choice.  

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/04/leak-reveals-possible-harsher-three-tier-covid-plan-for-england

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 galpinos 05 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Inevitable unfortunately. I know of someone who was going to travel from an English lockdown area to Anglesey for a weeks holiday next week. Hopefully this will stop them. Sad, but needs doing.

How will it stop them? The "guidance" allows them to go on holiday. Anglesey isn't in Gwynedd and if Conwy going into harsher restrictions made no difference, I doubt Gwynedd will?

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 Monkeydoo 05 Oct 2020
In reply to Dave the Rave:

> Inevitable unfortunately. I know of someone who was going to travel from an English lockdown area to Anglesey for a weeks holiday next week. Hopefully this will stop them. Sad, but needs doing.

Unless they live within 2 miles of arrow park ! Then they are allowed to travel anywhere they like in the UK for whatever purpose by default  ! 

Everyone else in the uk thought it was just fine to gather up all the confirmed case's , put them in coach's and send them all to arrow park up in the northwest !

I know a guy from there who was less than impressed with that idea !!!

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