NORTH Wales Police and the NHS have teamed up ahead of the Easter weekend to urge the public to stay at home to save lives and help protect the NHS.

Normally, the Easter holiday would signify seeing family and friends and spending time outside in the many open spaces available across North Wales.

However, in these unprecedented times, the public are being urged to continue to follow the new measures put in by place the government due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

North Wales Police Chief Constable, Carl Foulkes said: “Traditionally during the Easter period it is a very busy time in North Wales and we normally welcome many visitors to the area.

“However, due to the challenge we are facing during this Covid-19 pandemic our message to the public is to stay home and help protect our NHS during this difficult time.

“We all want to stop the spread of the coronavirus but we need everyone to play their part in making this happen.

“Our police officers will be out patrolling across the Easter period, both on our roads and in our busy communities, both engaging and spreading that message with the public.

“However, where people do not comply, then we will direct people to go home, and, if necessary, we will issue a fine.”

Despite the government guidelines being in place for almost three weeks there is still a small minority who are ignoring these rules.

North Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones added: “My message is for everyone to stay at home to help save lives, the majority of people are sticking to these rules but sadly there is still a minority who are ignoring the government guidelines.

“It is so important that the public play their part by staying home and also encourage their friends and family to do the same.”

Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Dr Richard Griffiths from Ysbyty Gwynedd, said: “We appreciate that everyone wants to take advantage of the recent warmer weather and visit the beaches and mountains of North Wales.

“But right now everyone needs to follow the government advice, which has been put in place to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives.

“This is the best thing you can do for your own health, the health of your family and the more fragile members of our community.

“The beaches and mountains in North Wales will still be here once this is over, and we want as many of us to still be here to enjoy it all together, so I would urge everyone to listen to the government guidelines and stay at home.”

As we approach the Easter weekend, the message from Minister for North Wales Ken Skates is also very clear – stay home and stay safe.

He said: “This Easter will be very different to the holiday weekends we have enjoyed in the past. Normally North Wales would be preparing to welcome visitors from near and far, but this year we are dealing with the covid-19 pandemic and the message is clear – stay home.

“Accommodation, pubs, restaurants and tourist attractions across the region are closed. We have taken action to close caravan, holiday parks and campsites, and we’ve given national parks and local authorities the power to close footpaths.

“This unprecedented action has been taken to save lives. These measures will only succeed if we all follow the guidelines and stay at home. We all have a responsibility to ensure we do not spread the virus and put lives in danger.

“It may be difficult but we must continue to comply this Easter weekend and stay at home.

“This is the best way to show our support for the NHS, emergency services and other key workers. This has been the clear message from across the public sector in Wales including North Wales Police and the Snowdonia National Park.

“Thank you for staying at home.”

Michael Bewick, the Chair of the North Wales Tourism Forum said we must comply with the Government’s regulations.

He added: “As the Director of an attraction and the Chair of the North Wales Tourism Forum, asking people not to visit is unbelievable, but we are living in a period of national emergency.

“Every attraction in North Wales is closed, our principal mountains and beaches are closed and our towns and villages are to all extent and purposes closed. This is going to be an extremely challenging time for the tourism sector.

“I’m sure that I can speak on behalf of the whole sector when I thank people for staying away, for staying at their main home and by saying that we very much look forward to welcoming you back to North Wales – in the future.”