No Covid pilot events in the north of Wales ‘glaring error’ say Conservatives
Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies has condemned the lack of Covid pilot events in the north of Wales as a “glaring error” by the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government says it is working with partners on the delivery of nine events in the south of Wales that will develop processes and guidance that will allow the safe return of events in Wales.
If the test events programme is safe and successful test it will hopefully allow larger gatherings back to stadiums, theatres and other venues in Wales later this year, they said.
Cardiff’s Eid at the Castle celebration and Tafwyl have been confirmed for this week while discussions with other event owners are ongoing.
But the Conservatives said that while it was “pleasing” to see the events go ahead, the Welsh Government should have arranged at least one outside of the south of Wales.
“It’s pleasing to see spectator trials given the green light, but ministers should correct the one glaring error in the plan and ensure there are pilots in North Wales, not just concentrated in the South,” Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said.
However, he welcomed the news of further lockdown easing, saying it would be “welcomed by families, workers and businesses, with everyone more desperate than ever to return to a sense of normality across Wales”.
“With the vaccination programme steaming ahead, Welsh Conservatives have been clear that we will support all avenues that will allow indoor hospitality, indoor tourism accommodation and other sectors to re-open as safely and as quickly as possible,” he said.
“After past difficulties, the immediate priority for the Welsh Labour Government is ensuring the smooth delivery of the latest financial support to businesses so we can support Welsh jobs and get the economy on the road to recovery.”
The list of all nine pilot test events is as follows:
- Eid-al-Fitr – 12-14th May (TBA-date is agreed on the eve of the event) | Cardiff | Attendees 300-500
- Tafwyl Festival – 15th May | Cardiff | Attendees 500
- League Two Play Offs fixture Newport County AFC – 18th May/Rodney Parade
- ICCW business event – 20th May | Newport | Invited attendees 100 indoors
- Championships Play Offs fixture Swansea City AFC – 22nd May | Liberty Stadium
- Theatre Brycheiniog – 3th-4th June |Theatre Brycheiniog Brecon, Powys | Attendees 250
- Glamorgan v Lancashire – 3-6th June | Sophia Gardens, Cardiff | Spectators 750-1000
- Wales v Albania – 5th June | Cardiff City Stadium | Spectators 4000
- Fishguard Triathlon – 11th and 12th June | Fishguard/St David’s | Registered participants only
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “It’s been a long and difficult 18 months for the events industry in Wales – for event owners, those who depend on the sector for the work – and for those who long to see the return of live events to Wales.
“As we look at lifting the coronavirus restrictions in Wales we have worked closely with event organisers to establish a list of pilot test events which take in a range of different locations and types of event.
“This work is bringing us a step closer to a return to events in Wales, I’d like to thank these event owners and Local Authorities and Health Boards for their commitment in working with us and wish them well over the summer.
“These events are very different in nature and location but access of attendees – whether participants or spectators – is strictly controlled by the organisers and agreed in advance.
“We’re asking people to celebrate Eid differently again this year. I very much hope that celebrations at the castle are enjoyed by those with tickets. If you don’t have a ticket please celebrate safely with your immediate household or within support bubbles.”