THE RNLI in Wales has reacted to the Welsh Government’s plans for easing lockdown with an important safety warning.

The Government’s changes, from Monday, June 1, will limit people to staying local and not generally travel more than five miles to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading.

People from two different households in the same local area will be permitted to meet up as long as they are outdoors, and they maintain strict social distancing.

The lifesaving charity has called for the public to stay safe.

RNLI lifesaving manager, Matt Crofts said: “After a warm spring coupled with the easing of a lockdown which has seen many of us unable to visit our local beaches, we expect many people to be eager to hit the coast.

“The changes to Government guidance does not mean our coasts are safe.

“The dangers that have always been there remain.

“We ask those who are local to beaches to continue to be aware of the inherent dangers.

“Our strong advice to the Welsh public, who are not local to a beach, is to follow the Welsh Government guidance to meet outdoors and exercise locally and not to travel to the coast.

“Air temperatures may be warming up but the sea temperature remains consistently chilly all year, jumping or falling into cold water or spending longer periods than normal submerged in the water can lead to, potentially fatal, cold water shock.”

Water safety lead for the RNLI in Wales, Chris Cousens urged people to remember the safety advice.

He said: “Stay in familiar surroundings and follow the Welsh Government advice.

“Do not put yourself, your family and emergency services at risk by taking risks or assuming it ‘won’t happen to you’.

“If you do see someone at risk call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

A high proportion of calls for the RNLI in Wales are to those who have been to people cut off by the tide, including during the lockdown period.

Some parts of Wales have among the highest tidal range in Europe.

A beach that was clear yesterday at 2pm might be completely covered in sea at the same time today.

Mr Cousens said: “If you are heading out for a coastal walk, make sure it is safe before you go.

“Always check the tide times and conditions before you set off and while out, be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye on the tide direction.

“Ask for local advice and look out for safety signs.

“Always carry a means of calling for help and know to call 999 and ask for the coastguard if you or someone else is at risk.”

The RNLI is working to start a lifeguard service on several beaches in Wales and is in discussion with the Welsh Government, local authorities, landowners, and other partners.

At present there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches in Wales.