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Senedd reopens for public who want to watch debates – but you have to book beforehand

25 Jun 2021 2 minute read
The Senedd. Picture by Senedd Cymru.

The Senedd will reopen to any members of the public that want to watch live debates from the end of the month onwards, it has been announced today.

The public will be able to sit in the viewing gallery and watch sessions, including questions to the First Minister, for the first time since March 2020, when doors were forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Senedd’s Viewing Gallery will be open every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, starting from 29 June onwards. Spaces must be booked in advance via the Senedd website, or by calling 0300 200 6565.

Anyone wishing to attend will need to book by 16:00 the day before their planned visit. The Senedd will be open for pre-booked ticket holders only.

The Senedd said that plans for any further re-opening or activity at the Senedd “under close review”, in line with the latest guidance from Welsh Government and Public Health Wales.

“The Viewing Gallery gives the public the chance to watch their Members of the Senedd debate issues, scrutinise decisions and hold the Welsh Government to account in the twice weekly Plenary meetings,” a spokesperson said.

“This includes the weekly First Minister’s Questions session on Tuesday afternoon, as the First Minister, Mark Drakeford MS, faces questioning by all Members on a wide range of pressing issues, including the ongoing Coronavirus restrictions.”

The twice-weekly Plenary meetings, where all Members of the Senedd meet to debate latest issues and Welsh Government decisions held every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, are currently held as hybrid meetings.

This means that up to 20 Members can be in the debating chamber at any one time, and the other 40 join virtually over Zoom.

Senedd meetings are broadcast online on to watch live or on demand. This has been the case throughout the time the Senedd buildings has been closed.

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