Police are stepping up patrols on roads into Powys as warm Easter weather threatens to stretch the public's patience with the coronavirus lockdown.

Dyfed-Powys Police has increased its spot checks on cars coming into the country from today (Thursday) to ensure that only those who need to travel are doing so.

Newtown Roads Policing Unit said the majority of people it had stopped had supported the measures, with only one complaint from somebody who had been stopped twice since the lockdown began.

Six vehicles have been issued with fixed penalty notices while driving on the Newtown bypass today.

There have also been reports from some quarters that people are getting together to find ways around roadblocks, sneaking into Wales at night, or simply accepting the £60 fine and travelling onwards.

“I’m really sorry to have to make this message today but it’s evident that people are still arriving at their second homes and their holiday homes,” said Dwyfor Meirionnydd MP Liz Saville Roberts in a video message on Twitter.

“The police are doing the best they can with the resources that are available to them and they do ask local people who have any reports of people travelling to such accommodation to contact them via email or via webchat."

Roads Policing Inspector Andy Williams said the response from the public since the UK to the lockdown had been positive, but added that it remains vital that locals and potential visitors continued to stay at home this weekend.

“We understand that Easter is a time when families and friends would usually get together to celebrate and make the most of the fine weather outside,” he said.

“But this remains a public health emergency, with many lives at stake if people do not continue to follow the government guidance."

He added: “We will maintain a strong presence on roads across the force area this weekend, ensuring only those who need to travel are doing so.

“More people on the roads also means a greater likelihood of vehicles breaking down or being involved in an accident, which puts further strain on emergency services.”