A holiday park operator says it has had to hand out more than 2,000 face masks to visitors unfamiliar with Welsh Covid regulations. 

Restrictions, including a requirement to wear a face covering, were dropped in England in July while Wales is only moving to lift most Covid restrictions from Saturday, August 7. 

However face coverings in indoor public spaces, other than in hospitality settings where food and drink is served, will still be mandatory in Wales and the government is also requiring businesses to risk assess their operations. 

Lyons Holiday Parks, which operates sites in Prestatyn, Rhyl and Towyn, said it handed out more than 2,000 masks in the week after the requirement to wear them was dropped in England. 

It is now preparing for ensuring visitors, who include park home onwners and guests, are aware of rules in Wales and any additional measures that may be put in place as part of the site’s risk assessment. 

Staff will also continue to wear face masks in indoor venues at the park.

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When restrictions were dropped in England, Jason Davies, the manager of the firm’s holiday park in Rhyl, said the biggest battle has been reminding people of the current restrictions in Wales. 

He said: “The majority of our guests and owners come from the likes of Manchester and Liverpool, where the rules were lifted. In their minds, all the restrictions are gone – but when they hop on the train to Wales, it’s a different story, and it’s left many people confused and agitated. 

“In Wales, it is still a legal requirement to wear face coverings indoors, maintain social distancing rules, and comply with additional measures such as one-way systems and sanitising hands before entering public areas. 

“We are of course reminding guests that these are the requirements if they wish to dine in our bars, use our arcades, or cool off in the swimming pool. But unfortunately, this hasn’t been met with a great reception as many people thought we were past those things.” 

Though only wearing a face mask remains a requirement business must consider how they can keep people safe and could require guests, or shoppers or visitors in other settings, to comply with mitigation measures and additional hygiene controls. 

Businesses, and any individual or organisation operating a premises, will have to make a risk assessment, and involve staff in drawing that up, and make it available to anyone who wants to see it. 

Premises will also still be able to collect track and trace details, if they wish, and should consider issues such as capacity and ventilation in making their assessments. 

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Holidaymakers from England, at the Rhyl park, had mixed views on how regulations in Wales remained tighter than in England. 

Kerry Manifold, of Prenton, said she was aware Wales hadn’t removed restrictions when she came to the park but didn’t think separate rules were practical.

She said: “I think Wales should be where England are, because the fact you can jump on a train and get here without barriers or being stopped just doesn’t make sense.

"We’ve been able to come here with no travel restrictions, but there are restrictions as soon as you arrive on-park.” 

But Michael Johnson said while he’d welcomed a return to normality at home in Liverpool  he felt reassured by the Welsh regulations: “It felt so normal at home on Monday to take our masks off once and for all, like going back to normal and then when you come here you have to start wearing them again.

"To be honest, judging by the size of the park and the pool area, I think it’s quite good that Wales are lagging behind because it makes you feel safer." 

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