Sports fans have been given the long-awaited green light to return to live events in Wales by the thousands.
Of Monday June 7 , large outdoor gatherings and events – such as football and rugby matches, concerts and sporting activities – can take place with up to 4,000 non-seated and 10,000 seated.
This means that parkrun events and other organized running groups can resume their activities as well.
The Welsh government has said that all organizers planning events and activities must carry out a risk assessment and also put measures in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, including social distancing.
This latest Welsh government announcement comes as Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has confirmed Wales will be on a gradual move to coronavirus alert level one, with open-air events opening first.
This opens the door for fans to attend the Under-20 Six Nations, which takes place exclusively in Cardiff between June 19 and July 13 at Cardiff Arms Park.
Three of the four Welsh rugby regions are in action for the PRO14 Rainbow Cup final round on the weekend of June 12 – the first weekend after the rule change – but only two are at home, followed by a ” North v South ‘final in Treviso, Italy, a week later.
The Ospreys host Benetton on Saturday June 12 at Brewery Field in Bridgend and the Scarlets host Edinburgh on Sunday June 13 at Parc y Scarlets. While these regions can host fans, it will be at their discretion and they may decide to postpone the fans’ return until the new season as they will only have a little over a week’s notice for prepare. The Dragons face Leinster in Dublin on Friday, June 11.
As for football, Wales Women host Scotland in a friendly match at Parc y Scarlets on Tuesday 15th June. Information on whether fans will be able to attend will come direct from the Football Association of Wales.
Swansea City, Cardiff City and Newport County will all resume operations when the new season begins on the weekend of August 7th.
The latest easing of coronavirus restrictions in Wales on sporting events will mean fans will be able to return in droves to live fixtures for the first time since March 2020.
Further rule changes from June 7 include up to 30 people being able to meet outside in Wales, while respecting social distancing,
Ministers are expected to re-examine the public health situation before June 21 to determine whether indoor events can resume. Government officials say a two-step approach can immunize more people.
Other changes to indoor activities that will be considered later in June include an increase in the number of indoor events and the reopening of the rinks.
Drakeford said: “I want to thank everyone in Wales for all they have done to control the spread of the coronavirus and keep rates low. The emergence of the delta variant (also known as Indian variant) shows that the pandemic is not yet over and all of us must continue to take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
“The risk of infection is significantly lower outdoors than indoors. That is why we are gradually introducing the changes into this three-week cycle. This will allow more people to enjoy events inside. outdoors and enjoy the Welsh summer, while we continue to extend the vaccination program to all adults.
“We will be reviewing the public health situation again in a few weeks to see if we can continue to ease restrictions and restart indoor events. “
It comes after several pilot crowd events have been staged at Welsh sports matches in recent weeks, with some test events yet to take place.
- The Newport County League 2 Playoff semi-final against Forest Green Rovers at Rodney Parade on May 18, where about 900 fans were in attendance.
- Four days later, Swansea City fans returned to Liberty Stadium for the first time in 14 months to see their side beat Barnsley and advance to the Championship play-off final at Wembley. About 3,000 Swans fans were in attendance on May 22 at the Liberty.
- Glamorgan v Lancashire at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff from June 3-6 will host between 750 and 1,000 spectators.
- Welsh football fans are set to resume their first live match on Saturday 5 June, when 4,000 spectators watch Gareth Bale and Co. in action as they face Albania in the final match before the start of Euro 2020.
- The Fishguard Triathlon will also take place on June 11-12, with participants registered only at Fishguard and St David’s.