Crowds return 21st Jan

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Welsh outdoor crowds can return from 21 January​


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Crowds at outdoor events in Wales can return from 21 January after the Welsh Government announced the lifting of restrictions over the next two weeks.

The lifting of these restrictions means fans should be able to attend Wales' first home Six Nations game against Scotland on 12 February.
Wales' rugby regions and Welsh football clubs can all now welcome back fans later this month.

"It's a four-stage process," First Minister Mark Drakeford told BBC Wales.

"As from tomorrow (Saturday, 15 January) the number of people who can take part in an event outdoors will rise from 50 to 500 and then on Friday of next week, 21 January, all outdoor activities will move to alert level 0; no limits on the number of people who can take part in outdoor activities; crowds able to return to sporting events; outdoor hospitality able to operate in the way they would have earlier in the pandemic.

"Provided the numbers continue to reduce then on 28 January, we'll move alert level 0 for all indoor activities and premises; nightclubs able to reopen, Covid pass still required for large events and for night clubs, cinemas, theatres and so on and hospitality able to operate indoors as they would have earlier on.

"Because we'll then be at alert level 0 we'll revert to a three-week cycle (not one week) of making decisions."

Cardiff City, Swansea City, Newport County and Wrexham will all be able to have fans in attendance from next weekend, though Swansea are the only side with a home fixture on Saturday, 22 January when Preston North End visit in the Championship.

Swansea boss Russell Martin welcomed the development saying: "It's really positive and fantastic news for everyone, not just for football but for society in general. The numbers seem to be going the right way so restrictions can be lifted. Hopefully it's the last time we ever have to deal with that."

Crowds will now be allowed when the Cymru and Adran Premier resume on 8-9 February after a break prompted in early December, 2021 by Welsh government regulations over crowds at sporting events.

The women's top fight, the Adran Premier, will return on 13 February, while the Cymru South and North will resume on 4-5 February.

Scarlets will be able to welcome back fans for their European Champions cup home tie against Bristol on Saturday 22 January.

Friday, 28 January will see fans return to Rodney Parade for Dragons v Benetton in the United Rugby Championship, while the following day supporters will be able to attend Ospreys v Edinburgh and Cardiff v Leinster.

Crowds will be allowed for indoor events from Friday, 28 January.

In ice hockey, Cardiff Devils will have to play three more home games behind closed doors before fans can return to Ice Arena Wales for their Elite League fixture with Fife Flyers on Friday 28.

The announcement gives the go-ahead for Welsh boxer Liam Williams' middleweight fight with Chris Eubank Jr at the Motorpoint Arena Saturday, 5 February after fears it may be moved to another venue and for the Premier League darts at the same venue on Thursday, 3 February.

Parkrun events could also return after being suspended since 1 January.

The development also allows English club Chester, whose stadium is on the Welsh side of the Wales-England border, to welcome fans again to their home games in National League North.

Drakeford said a drop in case numbers in Wales is behind the relaxing of restrictions and when asked if Six Nations games can expect to see capacity crowds in Cardiff, he cautioned: "Provided the numbers continue to fall that's what we are announcing today. but I have to put that if in there, because it's real, we follow the data and we follow the science."

Scotland plans to scrap its restrictions on sports crowds from Monday, 17 January.
 

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