The Welsh Government has introduced emergency regulations, Health Protection (Coronavirus restrictions) (Wales) Regulations 2020, that allow local authorities to close footpaths and other rights of way where use poses a high risk to the spread of coronavirus.
Closures would be necessary when Public Rights of Way are considered to be areas:
(a) Liable to large numbers of people congregating or being in close proximity to each other, or
(b) The use of which otherwise poses a high risk to the incidence or spread of infection in its area with the coronavirus.
The council are not looking for extensive closures of footpaths (as outdoor spaces close to where people live will continue to be important to general wellbeing), but will monitor and close if necessary specific areas where people may be liable to congregate. These closures will underline the strong message that people should not be travelling outside their local area to access the countryside.
Current Government advice is that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes:
• Do not travel – exercise outside close to your home
• Go alone or with members of your household - Keep 2 metres / 6½ feet from others at all times
• Be vigilant with hand washing and hygiene – Be aware that gates, stiles and other outdoor structures are touched regularly
• Do not undertake new or risky activities – Stay safe during this time of increased burden on our emergency and health services
• Follow the Countryside Code - Consider farmers and others who are working hard to keep our shelves stocked and infrastructure running.
Closure of public paths are being assessed using a ’Closure Scoring Matrix’. The criteria used as a basis for making closure decisions includes; usage by large numbers of people, the nature or location of the footpath increasing the risk of users being in close proximity, behavior and incidents of high risk activity.
The Council will not object to land owners posting appropriately worded signs to notify footpath users that family members are vulnerable and/or self-isolating, nor to the offer of an alternative permissive route which avoids close proximity to homes, buildings and livestock, subject to safety insurance/liability coverage. The Rights of Way team have sign templates for available use and can be requested from email@example.com
Current path closures are;
Buckley/Mynydd Isa – Public Footpath No. 54 (near Bryn-y-Pys Farm)
Bagillt – Public Footpath No. 28 (off Trebor Avenue)
Trelogan – Public Footpath No. 80 (off Y Berthlog)
Northop – Public Footpath No. 37 (at Greenbank Farm, Sychdyn)
Whitford – Public Footpath No. 107b (Swn-y-Gwynt, Rhewl Mostyn)
Hawarden – Public Footpath No. 93 (Stony Hill Farm)
Gwernymynydd – Public Footpath No. 31 (140 metres only)
Gwernymynydd – Public Footpath No. 37 (Paddock Way)
Individual path closures will be reviewed after 21 days.
Contact the Access team - firstname.lastname@example.org