The peak of Mount Snowdon is one of the UK’s highest – and most scenic – spots.
And while a daunting second wave sweeps across Britain, it hasn’t deterred hordes of tourists ascending to the top of Wales’ tallest mountain in recent days.
Photos from the weekend show dozens of tourists lining up to reach the 1,085-metre peak, with a photo opportunity appearing to take priority over social distancing.
One Instagram picture of the crowded mountain summit shows a couple posing for a selfie while others wait on. Another shows a woman handing another hiker a camera.
On Tuesday (local time), the UK reported a further 4,926 COVID cases, with the nation’s uptick in cases showing no signs of slowing down.
The UK’s top medical advisors say that figure, which is just shy of figures at the peak of the UK’s first wave, could spiral to 50,000 daily cases in a matter of weeks if urgent action isn’t taken.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the nation’s current predicament “a dangerous turning point” as he introduced a handful of tightened restrictions on Tuesday.
When restrictions began to ease in the UK from July which allowed the English to visit and stay in Wales, there has been an influx in tourists to North Wales and the Snowdonia National Park.
Locals slam rule-flouting tourists
The local council has been forced to deploy security guards, wardens, further police and a host of volunteers as coronavirus rules were repeatedly breached, social distancing was ignored and litter in the area ramped up.
“We have never seen anything like it,” one female resident said, according to The Times.
“The crowds have been unbelievable, and some completely antisocial and who would be better suited in Magaluf (a Spanish holiday resort popular with young Brits)”.
Stephen, a homeowner in the Gwynedd council area, told Yahoo News Australia it appeared visitors to the area were constantly ignoring restrictions.
“From their behaviour, they seem to imagine that it’s not possible to catch the virus when on holiday,” he said.
Vehicles have caused severe congestion in rural areas surrounding the foot of the mountain, while police have been forced to tow dozens of vehicles parked illegally.
At the start of September, a fight was caught on camera between two hikers at the peak of Snowdon after one was accused of skipping the lengthy queue leading to the top. Video of the confrontation was later shared to TikTok.
With masks now mandatory in indoor spaces, a local shopkeeper took to Facebook on Tuesday slamming the attitude from some visitors over the rules.
“Some of the vitriol we have encountered has been unacceptable and easily avoided,” she said.
“We are not the mask police.”
Local doctor Robin Luff said there had been “a lot of worry in the local community” as visitors returned to the area, fearing the virus would be brought with them.
Local mountain leader Mike Raine said as the park was closed off for so long, there was inevitably an influx of tourists who wanted to visit the area at the same time. He pleaded with visitors to choose another place to “spread the load”.
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