As we all know, 2020 has been disastrous for tourism generally. Restrictions on where and how far you can travel are constantly changing, so planning ahead is much more difficult. Irrespective of political views, the movement of people around Wales has caused many areas of disagreement.
Ceredigion is a tourist destination, and we have had the lowest recorded instances of Covid-19 since the early part of the year. But we all dutifully followed the lockdown rules, everyone has worn a mask and used sanitizers, the shops have stuck with the one-way systems and restrictions of numbers on the premises at any one time. Pubs and restaurants have closed early and/or just served take-away food.
We are a low-risk area, yet we know many tourists this year have been from high-risk areas. A coach-load of visitors came from Bolton to Tenby, stopping at several places on the way; a family brought their child who had the virus as they didn’t want to miss their holiday (he was hospitalized); a pregnant woman diagnosed with the virus came here as she thought she would get better treatment here and yes, she did indeed go into labour!
We rely on visitors coming to Wales, but we have all seen how many of them have refused to follow 2-metre rules, refused to wear masks even when asked to do so, and insisted on visiting major tourist attractions with total disregard for the local population.
Recent changes and return to more restrictions have highlighted how difficult it is to keep control of the situation. We have towns in Wales where the local people are not allowed to visit major attractions but people from England have been previously allowed to travel here even if they are from a high-risk area. It is the apparent lack of logic to this situation that is causing problems for many who live in Wales – please note that lots of English people also live in Wales so this is not about the Welsh vs the English!
We are hopeful that if restrictions are imposed, people will follow them however stressful they are, as we want to see a return to our normal tourist activities as soon as possible.
At the time of writing, a full lockdown will be introduced in the whole of Wales from 23 October to 9 November 2020. This means a return to all non-essential shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels being closed and a restriction of 5 miles distance for non-essential travel. While tourism businesses have struggled to survive so far, it is clear these new restrictions will be a major blow to every sector.
We all want, and need, the tourists to continue to enjoy this beautiful place but for now, we will have to put any future travel plans on hold to safeguard everyone.
More about Jacqueline
Dr Jacqueline Jeynes has been a published author for more than 20 years, as well as developing course materials and providing Management Training programmes in industry since 1987.
Her first book was published in 2000 by Butterworth Heinemann (now Elsevier) followed by two more titles on how to manage health and safety in a small business. These were based on her PhD and work as a health and safety specialist in industry while a national policy representative for Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
For more information, visit pencoedpublishing.co.uk
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