Stokies planning on a summer staycation in Wales have been dealt a major blow.
Holiday homes, caravan parks and B&Bs over the Welsh border are hugely popular with North Staffordshire families who are more used to packing their bucket and spade for Rhyl rather than heading to sunnier destinations during the Potters’ Fortnight.
But the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford says the country faces an uphill battle to reopen the tourism and travel sector.
He warned prospective holidaymakers how the country’s approach to coronavirus is unlikely to change imminently.
Currently, people in Wales are told to ‘stay local’ – and urged not to travel beyond a five-mile radius.
Mr Drakeford said this will not change until mid-July at the very earliest.
He also warned B&Bs and hotels with shared facilities face having to overcome hurdles to re-open.
He said: “There is a distinction to be drawn between people travelling to stay somewhere where they have their own kitchen and bathroom.
“That would be different from someone travelling to stay to a place where they are sharing kitchens, showers and toilets and where, inevitably, the level of risk would be greater.”
Mr Drakeford said that, in a best case scenario, self-contained accommodation, such as cottages and self-catering flats, may be permitted to re-open at some point this summer.
A survey as recently as 2006 found that 30 per cent of people living in North Staffordshire preferred Wales to anywhere else in the world as a holiday destination
Nicknamed Stoke-on-Sea because of its summer flood of holidaying Potters, at just 70 miles away Rhyl is the nearest big seaside resort to the Stoke-on-Trent