The Wrexham County Borough councillor for Ceiriog Valley has praised the efforts of police officers for ensuring visitors stay away from the region during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Councillor Trevor Bates has been pleased to see police officers spending more time in the area to ensure visitors from afar are stopped from entering the region while lockdown rules remain in place in Wales.

Despite lockdown measures being slightly lifted in England by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the rules remain the same in Wales, meaning visitors are still being told to stay away for now.

Cllr Bates has also backed calls for an increase to the fines being issued for those who break lockdown rules.

“The police are doing a fantastic job with limited resources,” he said.

“I recently sent an email to the AM and MP calling for tougher penalties for those breaking lockdown rules by coming into the region.

“The £30 fines people were getting issued were not much of a deterrent, I know police and crime commissioner Arfon Jones was of the same mind.

“I think it’s the only way to make people listen and to stop them from ignoring the polite requests.

“The police have been very visible and we have been very pleased to see them – it’s re-assuring for people here.”

He has asked those wishing to visit the area to be patient, and insists they will be welcome back to the region once the lockdown is over in Wales.

He added: “People always want to visit these areas because they are so nice, and I certainly sympathise with those living in flats and built-up areas, but we’ve all got to adhere to these rules for now to look after people’s lives.

“I’d just like to ask people to be patient, and they will certainly be welcome back to the region once this is all over.

“The hotels and hospitality businesses are going through a hard time without visitors.

“We do need tourists in the area, a lot of places do rely heavily on tourism here, but right now they’re having to focus on keeping themselves and their staff safe.

“We can’t wait to return to normal, but we know if we rush things it could set us further back."