All sporting events in Wales take place behind closed doors – Sky Sports Breaking News 2021

COVID: All sporting events in Wales take place behind closed doors, News Sky Sports, sky sports

Spectators will be banned from all sporting events in Wales from 26 December to try to control the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

The Cardiff versus Scarlets Boxing Day match at Cardiff Arms Park was set to be a sell-out

Spectators will be banned from all sporting events in Wales from 26 December to try to control the spread of the Omicron Covid variant.

The Welsh government said it would apply to all indoor, outdoor, professional and community sporting events.

Economy Minister Vaughan Geting said a £3m Sports Spectators Fund would be made available to support clubs and venues.

Ministers will meet later on Tuesday to discuss post-Christmas hospitality restrictions.

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservative Party, said that while it was a “fast-moving and challenging situation”, the approach was not “a way of doing things”.

“The effect of rumor mill drip irrigation is unhelpful and disturbing to many, especially at such an important time of year for families across the country,” he added.

“Labor’s latest review was only on Friday, and families, workers, businesses and organizations deserve clear communication from governments of all colors ahead of the Christmas and New Year period.”

Blade sports spokeswoman Cymru Heald Fechan said it was important to support sports clubs.

She added, “Our sport is thriving with the support of the public, and it is difficult for the Corona virus to spread among the fans as well.”

Affected events include the Cardiff vs Scarletts rugby match at Cardiff Arms Park on December 26, and the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow the following day.

The Ospreys vs Dragons match has already been called off due to the Covid outbreak, as has football matches involving Cardiff City and Newport County.

About these new restrictions, Mr. Geting said: “Sporting events during the Christmas period are one of the highlights of the year. Unfortunately, the new variant of Omicron is an important development in the epidemic and can cause a large number of injuries.

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The Ospreys versus Dragons match had already fallen victim to Covid

“We need to do everything we can to protect people’s health and control the spread of this horrific virus.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have followed scientific and public health advice to keep people safe. The advice is clear – we need to act now in response to the Omicron threat. We are giving people as much notice as possible about these decisions.

“The fans will be back as soon as possible. We want everyone to be here to enjoy their favorite sports.”

The Welsh government said more details of the £3m support package would be made available after discussions with the sector.

‘Storm Gathering’
She added that a sporting event referred to all indoor and outdoor sporting events, whether they were booked or not, in the presence of spectators.

This includes large sporting events and those at every level, including the community level, which attract significantly smaller crowds, she said.

The overall rate of coronavirus infection is also on the rise in Wales and is now just under 550 cases per 100,000 people with Omicron cases rising rapidly across Wales.

First Minister Mark Druckford has warned of a “combined storm” of Omicron infection after the Christmas period and has already announced that nightclubs will close at midnight on Boxing Day.

He also said it was “inevitable” that there would be further restrictions on bars and restaurants after Christmas and he would chair a meeting later with ministers and officials to decide on those measures.

The Welsh government said the new sporting restrictions would be “reviewed regularly”.

‘Too little too late’
Speaking to Radio Wales Breakfast, Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick, called for clarification of gatherings over Christmas, adding that there were concerns about waiting while the virus continued to multiply every two days.

“The longer we leave it on, the worse it gets,” he said. “Waiting for more hospitalizations before you take a step can be too late.”

“It’s not just about hospitalizations and illness, of course that’s really important, it’s also all the staff absences that we’re starting to see and the impact that’s having, not just on essential services but on life in general.”

He added that the World Health Organization advised “better to abolish events than to abolish lives.”

“We should have learned through all of this that being preventive in the way you deal with this virus is much better in the long run.

“I worry the longer we leave it on, the worse things will get.

“I, like many of my colleagues, would prefer that we have some limitations now.”

He said a lot of people are acting with caution and that lateral flow tests have been a really important tool in making Christmas safer, but he said vaccination itself isn’t enough.

“We need more time to get vaccines in the arms. We know the vaccine program is going really well, but it’s a very stretched goal to have support for all adults by the end of December.”

Darren Hughes, director of the Welsh NHS Association, added that it is not only the number of patients with Omicron that could put pressure on hospitals, but also the number of staff absences.

“It’s starting to make a real dangerous impact…it’s not just because of the government, it’s up to us as individuals to do everything we can to protect ourselves and the family,” he said.

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