AS ENGLAND prepares to restore freedoms, a family-run holiday park operator has voiced their concerns about the future of the tourism industry in Wales.

The Welsh Government is taking a more cautious approach to lifting lockdown and Eluned Morgan, the minister for health and social service, said Wales will not be rushed into making a decision about scrapping its coronavirus restrictions despite England’s plans to do so later this month.

Lyons Holiday Parks, based in Rhyl, who own sites in Towyn, Kinmel Bay, Prestatyn, Gronant, St Asaph, Ruthin, Gwespyr, Dwygyfylchi and Cumbria, fear that prolonging the roadmap out of lockdown in Wales will affect business this coming summer.

Joseph Lyons Mound, company director, said: “Boris Johnson has set the precedent by demonstrating that things can return to normal, and relatively soon too. If England have managed to do away with most restrictions, why can’t we do the same in Wales?

Rhyl Journal: Geoff Lyons-Mound Jnr, Geoffrey Lyons-Mound Snr, and Joseph Lyons-Mound at the Dyserth Falls site. Picture: Kerry RobertsGeoff Lyons-Mound Jnr, Geoffrey Lyons-Mound Snr, and Joseph Lyons-Mound at the Dyserth Falls site. Picture: Kerry Roberts

“Everyone is ready to move forward after the year we’ve had, and we’re all desperate to get back to the things we love, without having to wear face masks, social distance, and limit the number of people at gatherings. The differences between the regulations in Wales and England in terms of wedding venues last month was one thing, but now we’re talking about business across the board, as a group we’re failing to understand why the First Minister is dragging his feet.”

Chloe Woodcock, group marketing manager, said communicating the differences between Welsh and English Covid-19 regulations will be another hurdle to overcome.

She added: “With almost 80 per cent of our owners and around 65 per cent of our holiday guests coming from England, we’re projecting some difficulties in conveying that certain Covid-19 rules and regulations will still apply in Wales.

“This harkens back to the local lockdowns in October and November last year, and the confusing regulations is another can of worms we’re averted to re-opening. It would be much simpler if the governing bodies were in alignment and we could all work in tandem as a nation towards a common goal – instead of receiving the backlash that we’re bound to get when it comes to explaining that there will be restrictions still in place in Wales.”

Martin Mugglestone, Ents manager at the group’s flagship park, Lyons Robin Hood, said: “We want events and entertainment to get back to the way it was, and for people to start having fun again. It’s very restrictive at the moment – we’re not allowed a dancefloor or for guests to even dance at their tables, so we would love to see some movement within the Welsh Government to allow for movement on-stage.

“People do need to continue using common sense, like the Prime Minister has called for across England, but it’s about time the entertainment industry is allowed some leeway. We just want to go back to the all-singing, all-dancing way of life that a coastal holiday park embodies.”

Hospitality is another industry that’s desperate for some relief.

Nicky Proctor, head of hospitality, said: “We are extremely limited at the moment, and this is reflected in our profits. How is it fair that bars across England will be full to the brim when restrictions are lifted on July 19, but here in Wales we’re still suffering from limitations and rules?

“It’s not about getting people through the doors – people are desperate to come for a pint and a bite to eat. But it comes down to patrons being put off by track and trace requirements, not being able to come to the bar for a refill, and having to sit at different tables to the rest of the family, just to stay in line with regulations.

"It’s about time things were lifted so we can all enjoy the slice of normality we all crave.”

Mark Drakeford is set to announce the new roadmap out of lockdown on July 19.

In today's Welsh Government briefing, Ms Morgan said: "He will do what he thinks is right for England and we will do what's right for Wales," said Ms Morgan.

"We will do things by the data not a timeline which has been set out artificially.

"We have very constant dialogue with representatives from the UK government. We will make those decisions in our next review.

"We are analysing data from England and Scotland.

"We also have our own data. We are about two weeks behind. Data is being crunched as we speak."

Dr Andrew Goodall also mentioned how Wales was around two weeks ahead in terms of vaccines.

"Most of the data is in the pubic domain so we're probably looking at it together," he said.

Beth Hughes, digital marketing and PR executive, will be on S4C tonight (July 5) talking in Welsh about how Boris’ latest lockdown will affect the industry in Wales.