Why is Wales v South Africa going ahead while Welsh Labour conference is cancelled ask Conservatives
The Welsh Conservatives are asking why major events such as Wales v South Africa are going ahead this autumn while Welsh Labour have cancalled their own conference citing an expected peak in Covid-19 cases.
The Conservatives voiced concerns over the “confused and contradictory” public health messaging they said was emanating from the Welsh Government, which “places a cloud over significant events across Wales this autumn”.
During Tuesday’s plenary, Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford explained in detail Welsh Labour’s decision to cancel its party conference in autumn on public health grounds, citing a potential peak in coronavirus cases in Wales.
Drakeford said “it was not sensible to bring large numbers of people from all around Wales travelling together to a location where, inevitably, people spend lengthy periods of time in relatively crowded conditions indoors.”
He went on to say that: “we will make and are making all that advice that we see available to others, and then I think there will be decisions that others will make, but, as I say, in the specific contexts that they themselves are facing.”
But the decision to cancel the conference on public health grounds places a significant question mark for other large events taking place this autumn across Wales, the Conservatives said.
Wales are due to play South Africa in front of fans at the Principality Stadium on the same weekend as the now-cancelled Welsh Labour conference, as part of an autumn series that will attract hundreds of thousands of fans from across the country to Wales’ capital city.
The Stereophonics and Tom Jones are also scheduled to play at the Principality in December, whilst Fatboy Slim, Blondie and Steps are due to perform at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena in November.
Raising concerns over the public health messaging from the Labour-run Welsh Government, Welsh Conservative shadow health minister, Russell George MS said that the public health messaging from Labour ministers was “confused and contradictory to say the least”.
“Are mass gatherings this autumn safe to go ahead, or not?” he asked. “Can fans travel from across Wales to Cardiff? And can organisations plan for such events in confidence they will go ahead?
“The last thing workers, businesses and the Welsh public needs is a return to the chaotic decision-making we saw from the Labour Government back in the dark days of March 2020 and the Wales-Scotland rugby fiasco.
“Labour ministers must urgently clarify the public health messaging because if there is a risk with such events this autumn, the Welsh Government should be the ones taking such serious decisions, not passing the buck to businesses and organisations.”