Covid in Wales: Sports clubs welcome rules easing

Image source, Ponypridd Parkrun
Image caption

Pontypridd Parkrun resumes on Saturday, following a two week suspension due to Covid regulations

Covid laws in Wales have been relaxed, so that up to 500 people can gather outdoors starting Saturday.

Parkrun and football clubs are both welcoming the rule change.

Karl Johnson, Pontypridd Parkrun co-director, stated: “We might have an inflow from other Parkruns, and there is always the boost in January when people make new year resolutions.”

Welsh officials stated they hoped to lift all restrictions before 10 February.

«Raring for to go»

Johnson said that Saturday’s run will be in Pontypridd. Rhondda Cinon Taf was also planned.

Volunteers will be arriving at 07:00 for the at Ynysangharad war memorial parkrun.

He said, “We have been very lucky that we have a trusted group of volunteers who can turn up and we’ve received fantastic support from council to ensure it goes ahead.”

Their highest attendance since the beginning of the group was 491, which is about 250 more than in previous lockdowns.

Johnson has stated that he does not anticipate the race to surpass 500 participants and has promised runners that they will adhere to the limits.

“We have done all we can to ensure that people feel safe. We make it easy for people to spread their safety and contact each other when they register on the site.

It’s disappointing we had to cancel the event over the past two weeks. I’m sure runners went over the border and signed up for other races. But we are ready to go and eager to get there now that we have the opportunity.

Parkrun is a great way for football clubs to welcome new spectators.

Ton Pentre AFC will face Ynyshir Albions Football Club at The Oval in Ynyshir (Rhondda Cynon Taf) in their first game of the Ardal South-West League season.

Cei Mason, club treasurer said that they are very happy. For us to continue running the club, match day revenue is essential.

He said, “As costs of operating a grassroots club continue to rise,” and added that he was sure other clubs in Wales would feel the same.

He said that they might not be able to handle the maximum 500 fans despite the modifications.

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We were unable to share the news with all of our followers because it came too late. He said that we hoped to make those same numbers again over the coming weeks.

The club must make changes before the game to ensure safety rules like social distancing are followed.

Mason stated that he had chosen to get into his kit outside the stadium to allow the away team to use the entire building for social distance rules.

We are happy to make accommodations to keep the game going.

Although sports clubs welcome the removal of rules, others have been cautiously welcoming it.

Laura Ann Moulding is a student in Cardiff who was diagnosed as ME in January 2020. Since then, she has kept her social circle to her boyfriend and her family.

She said, “I will stick to social bubbles” because Covid is something she was afraid of.

While I know that the restrictions will be removed some day, it is one of the things I have been working towards. But I am still overwhelmed by my anxiety about it. I fear I may catch something worse than I already could.

“That fear never goes away, no matter how hard I try to look at it. I am happy I will see more people. However, I have that same fear within me.

“If there are fewer cases, then that’s a good thing. However, I have known many others who share my vulnerability and are also happy to reduce restrictions.

To be safe, I’m going to continue to take my lateral flow tests every time that I visit uni and whenever I see my friends or family.

“Even just going to the grocery store it can be quite frightening.”

Royal College of Physicians in Wales believes that now is the best time to relax restrictions.

Olwen Wilkins, Vice President of College said that the college views this as a positive change over time.

For us, it is the most difficult time of the year in our work as physicians.

Remember that there were fewer doctors than healthcare personnel when we entered the pandemic.

Although that would be a problem in and of itself, two consecutive years with winter pressures, backlogs from planned care, as well as Covid has made it quite difficult.

“Officially, all of us are tired. But we want to be able to train to deliver the best patient care possible,” she stated.

Six Nations Rugby could also be played in front a Principality Stadium, thanks to an easing on rules.

Ms Williams explained that “as far as large sporting events go, there were only four in the fall and no significant rise from them.”

You know that people are sensible. People can wear masks to keep safe distance at events, and that is very important.

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