UK

Intensive care consultant slams people packing car parks at Brecon Beacons

Intensive care consultant slams people packing car parks at Brecon Beacons beauty spot for breaking Tier 4 Covid lockdown rules

  • Car parks for Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacon’s highest peak, were full on Monday
  • The whole of Wales in Tier 4 – meaning travel is only for essential purposes
  • Intensive care consultant Dr David Hepburn warned south Wales hospitals were now ‘very, very full’

An intensive care doctor has hit out at crowds of people visiting the Brecon Beacons despite Wales’ nationwide lockdown.

Dr David Hepburn said he was ‘very disappointed’ to see cars parked below Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain, filled with walkers on Monday as Britain was forecast for snow.

This was despite Wales being in Tier 4 restrictions, which means travel is only allowed for essential purposes.

Dr Hepburn, a consultant in the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, said he could understand why people want to visit beauty spots but he warned it was against the rules.

An intensive care doctor has hit out at crowds of people visiting the Brecon Beacons despite Wales’ nationwide lockdown. Pictured: Cars parked below Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in southern Britain

He added that it was still unclear what impact Christmas had had on case numbers. 

‘All the hospitals across the health board are now very, very full,’ he told the BBC. 

‘In terms of the intensive care unit actually where we’re managing to sort of hold our footprint, and we haven’t exploded, you know we haven’t burst our banks as yet.

‘But we’ve still got quite a lot of time to go before this pandemic is under control, so really anything could happen over the next month or so.’

Dr Hepburn, a consultant in the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, said he could understand why people want to visit beauty spots but he warned it was against the rules.

Dr Hepburn, a consultant in the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, said he could understand why people want to visit beauty spots but he warned it was against the rules.

He added: ‘We don’t want to lose any more friends, loved ones, neighbours. I don’t want to watch anyone else die from this cruel disease, and I’ve done that more than I can count.’

Dr Hepburn was himself ‘wiped out’ by coronavirus in March, leaving him bedridden and asleep for up to 18 hours a day.

Wales has been in a nationwide Level 4 lockdown since 20 December, with restrictions also tightened for Christmas Day.

The rules state that people must not visit other households, or meet other people they do not live with. 

Wales has been in a nationwide Level 4 lockdown since 20 December, with restrictions also tightened for Christmas Day

Wales has been in a nationwide Level 4 lockdown since 20 December, with restrictions also tightened for Christmas Day

Travelling is only allowed for essential purposes, such as for work and for caring responsibilities. International travel is also not allowed.

People are still allowed out of their homes to exercise, for unlimited times and periods each day, and exercise should start and finish at your home.

Aled Davies, the Conservative deputy leader of Powys County Council, said he was ‘not angry… just disappointed’ to see people driving out to the rural areas of south Wales.

Mr Davies said: ‘I can understand why people want to get out into the fresh air’ but that ‘the rules are very, very clear around this’.

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