Burger vans in beauty spots like the Brecon Beacons are allowed to remain open even though customers may be breaking the rules, a council has said.
Powys County Council said food outlets are permitted to remain open as an essential business despite all but essential travel being banned by Welsh Government Alert Level 4 rules. This week police officers have been carrying out checks at popular locations in the Brecon Beacons, including at Pen-Y-Fan, to remind people of the current coronavirus rules.
They found visitors from as far as the West Midlands and Cheltenham, with a “couple of hundred” vehicles lining the road at the picturesque beauty spot. You can read more here. But despite the warnings crowds have continued to flock to the area, with pictures showing groups of people out enjoying the snowy mountain on Wednesday.
On December 29, one person took to Instagram to share a picture of a burger van open on a snowy car park in the Brecon Beacons. Robin Masters said: “Nice to see some snow today up the Brecon Beacons, crazy to find a burger van in the middle of nowhere in a snowstorm! Bit of a lifesaver.”
And Powys council says that although business owners, including burger van owners, are allowed to drive to work, those who use them could be “breaking the regulations”.
A spokeswoman told BBC Wales: “The owner of the unit would be allowed to travel to ‘work’, but those stopping to purchase refreshments could potentially be breaking the regulations if not travelling for one of these reasons. This would be a police matter.”
They added that mobile catering units could operate if they worked on a takeaway basis only and had permission from their local authority.
How many cases are there where you live? Find out with your post code:
On Tuesday, Dyfed Powys Police said: “We are carrying out high-visibility patrols at Pen y Fan and engaging with people to remind them of their responsibilities to adhere to Welsh Government lockdown restrictions. There are a couple of hundred vehicles in the area.”
The force added: “Officers have spoken to one man who had driven from Hertfordshire to walk up the mountain, while a minibus of people from mixed households had travelled from Cheltenham.
“Fixed penalty notices have and will be issued to those blatant breaches where engagement fails, but the vast majority of people are listening to advice and when they are turning up and seeing RPU vehicles at the site, they are turning around and going home – which is the objective of our high visibility patrols.”
The latest Welsh Government guidance states: “Exercise is important for physical and mental health, and you can leave home as often as you like to exercise as long as you do so from home and alone or with members of your household or support bubble (and/or a carer).”
-- to www.walesonline.co.uk