Snowdonia, a popular destination for people from the West Midlands and Shropshire, is preparing to come out of lockdown. But there are fears of a repeat of scenes earlier in the year when huge crowds descended on the national park, filling roads and car parks.
Snowdonia Marathon bosses have already announced the race will be moved to next year. And it is understood organisers of other events planned across the 823 sq miles of park have been asked to postpone until 2021 too.
Lockdown has meant fewer visitors – and fines for those who breach the rules to travel to the region. It has also meant real pain for those relying on the park and tourism for a living, with cafes, B&Bs, hotels, restaurants and non-essential shops shut.
Emlyn Roberts, owner of Bistro Hebog in Beddgelert, says he is desperate to welcome back visitors from across the Wales-England border, saying: “We’ve got everything in place, we’re ready to go, our staff are eager.
“I’m also cautious that opening the gates to Wales too soon, too fast, could jeopardise everything.”
“But I’m really keen to move on and, after all, it’s a great place to do business. The business is there, it’s just a matter of waiting to see when.”
Elin Aaron runs the Gallt y Glyn hostel in Llanberis, a popular spot for hikers and locals.
“There’s the conflict between wanting my business to be successful and to be here after the restrictions open, but also wanting to keep the community and my family safe - I’ve grown up in the area,” she told the BBC.
“The balance of getting everything right – I don’t envy whoever has to make the decision about when we can open, but it’d be nice to know so I can plan.”