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Crowds set to return to sporting events in Wales on January 21

All sporting events have been held behind closed doors since Boxing Day.

Wales fans
Wales fans

Wales will welcome back crowds to sporting events from January 21 after the Welsh Government announced the lifting of restrictions.

All sporting events in Wales have been held behind closed doors since Boxing Day due to the rise of coronavirus cases caused by the Omicron variant.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, who will hold a press briefing on Friday afternoon to outline the lifting of restrictions, told BBC Wales: “It’s a four-stage process.

“As from tomorrow 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, January 21, all outdoor activities will move to alert level 0.

Coronavirus – Fri Dec 17, 2021
First Minister Mark Drakeford is to ease coronavirus restrictions in Wales and allow fans back into sporting events (Ben Birchall/PA)

“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 January 28, 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 nightclubs, 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.”

Coral Welsh Grand National – Chepstow Racecourse
The Welsh Grand National was held in front of empty stands at Chepstow last month (David Davies/PA)

The lifting of restrictions means fans are able to attend Wales’ first Six Nations Championship home match against Scotland in Cardiff on February 12.

The Welsh Rugby Union, who sell out the 74,500-capacity Principality Stadium for Six Nations matches, had explored the option of staging home games in England in a bid to generate an income from the tournament.

Cardiff, Newport and Swansea have all played home games behind closed doors while English rivals were allowed to welcome supporters to their matches.

The Welsh Grand National was also held at Chepstow on December 27 without spectators, despite advance ticket sales in excess of 6,000.

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