Football, the theatre and a festival: Welsh crowds to return as Covid restrictions are eased

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Wales is to begin trialling the return of crowds at events for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic with as many as 4,000 fans allowed to attend Wales v Alabania at the Cardiff City stadium in June.

The pilots will involve football matches, a Welsh cultural festival and Eid celebrations in May.

A theatre in Brecon and a business event in Newport will also be part of the pilot.

Sporting events in Wales have so far gone ahead without fans.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the Welsh Government has worked closely with event organisers to establish the test events.

He 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.”

The following events will be used to test the return of crowds in Wales:

  • 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

Coronavirus case rates in Wales are at their lowest since August, according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.

Rolling seven-day data up to 5 May shows that Wales has an average of 8.6 cases per 100,000 people.

Newport has the highest rate at 22 cases per 100,000. The next highest is Wrexham with 16.9 cases, followed by Pembrokeshire at 15.9.