Coronavirus: Welsh cities left deserted - but crowds defy social distancing by visiting landmarks

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Closed pubs in central Cardiff as the streets of the Welsh capital remained empty in Saturday. (Getty Images)

Cities in Wales have been left deserted as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the UK - but people still flocked to Wales’ landmarks. 

The streets of Cardiff and Swansea were seen eerily deserted on Saturday as pubs and restaurants closed, with people staying at home as per the government’s social distancing advice. 

However, popular tourist spots such as Pen y Fan, Mount Snowdon, Barry Island, and Cardiff's Roath Park were busy as people sought to get fresh air amid the COVID-19 outbreak. 

The scenes came as it was confirmed on Saturday that 89 cases of coronavirus Covid-19 had been confirmed in Wales  - bringing the total to 280. 

An unusually quiet Cardiff Bay on Saturday, as COVID-19 cases reached 208 in Wales (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the deaths of seven people have been announced by Pubic Health Wales within the last week after they contracted coronavirus - bringing the total to 12.

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Some people concerned that self-isolation measures and social distancing were not being adhered to as people escaped to the countryside. 

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And around the Snowdon area, mountain rescuers warned they could not guarantee help amid the coronavirus crisis. 

A map showing the number of coronavirus cases in England. (PA)

"Resilience is a priority in order to ensure that as many volunteers are available to provide the rescue service. This is achieved by minimising exposure of face to face contact by arranging meetings online and postponing physical training. 

Read more: Coronavirus: What people can and can't do in the UK under current restrictions

"Anyone who has the symptoms of Covid-19 or is self-isolating because of exposure of Covid-19 should seriously consider the risks that they impose on the volunteers of the mountain rescue teams should they need and call for their assistance. 

"These volunteers are well-equipped and well-trained for all the usual hazards that they encounter on the mountains. They are not trained or equipped for dealing with the effects of this pandemic." 

Horses from Christian Williams' stables exercise in the river backdropped by Ogmore Castle in Glamorgan, South Wales, Saturday March 21, 2020. All horse racing fixtures in Great Britain have been suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. For some people the COVID-19 coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, but for others it causes severe illness. (David Davies / PA via AP)

On Friday, Boris Johnson ordered all bars, restaurants, cafes and gyms across the UK to close in a massive escalation of the UK's effort to stop the coronavirus Covid-19 from spreading. 

Read more: Coronavirus outbreak in West Midlands 'linked to church attended by infected worshipper'

Cities such as Cardiff evidently felt the strain of the measures, with the city’s busy St David's Shopping Centre virtually empty. Cardiff Bay and the Millennium Centre were also deserted. 

In Swansea, Castle Gardens was empty while Oxford Street, the city’s shopping hub, saw just a few people venturing out to hit the shops. 

The deserted Liberty Stadium, home of Swansea City Football club, as people flocked to the Welsh countryside. (Getty Images)

On Sunday morning, Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price said he written to First Minister Mark Drakeford demanding he stops people travelling to caravan parks, second homes and tourist accommodation across the country.

Read more: Coronavirus: Guidelines published to help medics decide how to treat patients

He said there are concerns about an influx of people into rural communities – putting even more pressure on local health and social care services.

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