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Dan Moffat

Dan is a final year Journalism student at the University of South Wales, a news reporter and presenter for Bro Radio and part of the team on the View from the Ninian Podcast.

Outdoor tourist attractions will be allowed to reopen on Monday 6th July if the stay local rule is lifted by the Welsh Government.

The news of the timetable and possible partial reopening of Wales' tourism industry was announced by the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language Eluned Morgan at today's Welsh Government Coronavirus press briefing.

The date that owners of self-contained accommodation can accept bookings has been brought forward from the 13th of July to the 11th, to help with Saturday-to-Saturday bookings.

Guidance and advice for businesses in Wales’ tourism sector has been published this week and the Welsh Government say further guidance for cafes, bars and pubs will follow.

The move is subject to the upcoming review of Coronavirus restrictions on the 9th of July, and will depend on whether rates of Coronavirus are continuing to fall.

Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language Eluned Morgan said:

“Tourism is a vital part of the Welsh economy at a national, regional and local level. I’d like to thank all our industry partners for working with us to carefully reopen the visitor economy.

“A successful, safe and phased return will give businesses, communities and visitors confidence to continue with the recovery of the visitor economy.

“We ask everyone who travels to and around Wales to enjoy their time here, but always to respect local communities. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors back to Wales – but we want everyone to Visit Wales Safely.”

Mrs Morgan also announced that pubs, bars and restaurants will be allowed to open outdoors from the 13th of July.

But, indoor areas at hospitality venues will have to remain closed for now, despite ongoing pressure from those in the industry and opposition parties.

Here's the full timetable set out by the Welsh Government today:

6th July - Lifting of requirement to stay local will mean people are able to travel around Wales and will allow outdoor visitor attractions to open, subject to strict social distancing and hand hygiene guidelines remaining in place.

11th July - Bookings can be made for stays after 11 July, but this is at people’s risk and they should check with the accommodation provider before they book.

This includes any accommodation that is entirely self-contained, for example, holiday cottages, holiday caravans including modern touring caravans and motorhomes and some glamping accommodation with their own kitchens and bathrooms that no other guests use.

Also in this category:

  1. Hotels and other serviced accommodation (B&Bs, hostels etc) which provide en-suite rooms and can provide room service meals.
  2. Caravan parks where accommodation is entirely self-contained – but shared facilities on the premises will remain closed, such as swimming pools, leisure facilities, shared shower and toilets blocks, shared laundry and public areas in other accommodation types. This means any caravan or touring site where individual accommodation has its own supply of water for on board shower, WC and cooking with strict application of guidance on shared waste disposal and water points.
  3. All shared facilities, aside from water and disposal points, should remain closed including toilets, shower blocks, laundry, restaurants, nightclubs, bars, cafes, etc. 

13th July - Hospitality sector, bars, restaurants and cafes with outdoor spaces forming part of premises owned by the business and subject to existing licenses

The 'two metre rule' is to remain in Wales, while elsewhere in the UK the rule will soon be reduced to one metre with restrictions.

From the 4th of July in England, the two-metre social distancing rule will be slashed to 'one metre plus', with Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming the news in a statement in the House of Commons earlier this week.

In Northern Ireland, the Stormont Executive has agreed to reduce social distancing in Northern Ireland to one metre with restrictions from Monday 29th of June, with First Minister Arlene Foster confirming the news on Friday.

But in Wales, the two metre rule is to stay for now, with Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething saying earlier this week that the Welsh Government had not seen the evidence which has led to England relaxing its social distancing rules.

First Minister Mark Drakeford says the Welsh Government continues to take its advice on social distancing from SAGE.

The latest Advice from SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) updated on the 4th of June, states that, "the best current evidence suggests that 1m carries between 2 and 10 times the risk of 2m of separation."

So according to SAGE, if the social distancing measurement is halved from two metres to one metres, the probability of contracting the virus is multiplied at least twice.

(The Vale of Glamorgan Council have installed signs and markers throughout the Vale's shopping high-streets)

But, the First Minister told Bro Radio on Friday that "There are things you can do to mitigate that possible change" and that the hospitality sector in particular had been helpful in putting forward a list of "mitigation measures" that could be used if social distancing is decreased from two metres.

"What the sector has been doing very helpfully and responsibly is putting to us a list of mitigation measures that they could use if people were allowed to be at a closer distance than two metres."

"I want to be clear, the two metre rule is staying in Wales, if we are able to identify a small number of exceptions to that rule, then it will have to be because we are confident that the mitigation measures in place are sufficient."

(Mark Drakeford answers a question from Bro Radio's Dan Moffat about how the hospitality sector could return in Wales)

The two metre rule has been a big issue for business owners, with those in the hospitality sector worried about the restrictions it will place on the number of people allowed in bars and restaurants.

The Welsh Government has faced calls from opposition parties this week to review the rule, with Shadow Minister for Covid Recovery Darren Millar MS saying, ''We encourage the Welsh Government to urgently review the restrictions here as soon as possible in order that a similar lifeline can be thrown to people and businesses across Wales."

Meanwhile on Friday Plaid Cymru MS Helen Mary Jones said, "We asked for reassurances of a timescale for reopening the hospitality sector in Wales. Our calls have been ignored.

"We now face the very real possibility that many in the sector will decide to make redundancies, or worse, be forced to close".

The Welsh Government are hoping to have some good news for pubs and restaurants with outdoor areas or beer gardens next week.

Mark Drakeford said last Friday when announcing the new lockdown restrictions, that he was hoping to have opportunities to move Wales out of lockdown faster, but only if safe to do so, this is something he highlighted again when talking to Bro Radio on Friday afternoon.

"We are approaching this in a positive spirit, we want to find a solution and if we can then we'll be able to make an announcement.

"But we won't make an announcement until we are sure that what is in place is sufficient to go on protecting people in the context that people will be able to have a drink."

An update on the possibility of 'social bubbles' being allowed in Wales will be given next week, according to the Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford.

'Social bubbles' have been allowed in England and Northern Ireland for two weeks now, and have allowed those who live alone or single parents with children under the age of 18, to form a 'bubble' with another household, allowing them to stay over at the chosen household and not have to observe social-distancing rules.

Pressure has been put on the First Minister to make a similar announcement as soon as possible, with Welsh Conservative Angela Burns saying, "The First Minister hopes to make a decision next week, but had a decision been made today (Friday), then people all over Wales could have avoided another 'lost weekend' of not being able to see their loved ones.

"The lockdown has been, for some people, the hardest time of their lives. It will have had an effect on their mental and emotional well-being."

Speaking to Bro Radio on Friday afternoon, the First Minister said that talks about how 'social bubbles' could be introduced in Wales were "nearing conclusion".

"We've had a lot of discussion about it this week, looking at experience elsewhere and devising an answer that offers the best we can for Wales.

"I'm optimistic now that we will be in a position at the start of next week to be able to tell people what we can offer in Wales."

(Bro Radio's Matthew Harris asks the First Minister about when Wales could see 'social bubbles' introduced)

Videos posted on social media this evening have shown fights at Ogmore-By-Sea as large crowds gathered at the beach.

The videos show a number of fights take place, with hundreds gathering at the beach as temperatures rose to 29 degrees today.

Two of those involved have been detained by police, and at least one other was injured.

Mass gatherings are not allowed at the moment because of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Posted by Jason Stadden on Thursday, 25 June 2020
(Credit - Jason Stadden on Facebook)

Posted by Jason Stadden on Thursday, 25 June 2020
(Credit - Jason Stadden on Facebook)

In an updated statement on social media, South Wales Police said, "At around 8pm tonight, we were called to Ogmore by Sea to reports of a large gathering and a disturbance taking place.

"Two men in their 20s were detained by officers, the crowd was dispersed and the council was contacted to close the car park.

"Witnesses have described one person being injured. As yet no victims have been identified nor come forward."

At around 8pm tonight, we were called to Ogmore by Sea to reports of a large gathering and a disturbance taking...

Posted by South Wales Police Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan on Thursday, 25 June 2020
(Updated statement from South Wales Police)

South Wales Central MS, Andrew RT Davies, also took to social media to say, "Sadly some pretty ugly scenes down at Ogmore by Sea this evening."

It comes as a 'major incident' was declared in England at Bournemouth beach earlier today, as thousands headed to the Dorset coast.

Over the weekend, car parks at local resorts across the Vale like Ogmore-By-Sea were reopened, allowing people to head to the beaches in cars, but only if local to the area.

In Wales, the stay local 'five-mile rule' remains in place until the 6th of July when it will be reviewed and possibly removed, but only if safe to do so, according to the First Minister Mark Drakeford.

The tourism industry in Wales has been shut off since the start of lockdown at the end of March.

Potential visitors from across the border in England and further afield have been told to 'Visit Wales Later'.

Concerns have been raised from opposition parties in Wales that the economy and industries like tourism are suffering huge financial losses because of the Coronavirus lockdown.

On Monday, the reopening of shops in Wales - with social distancing requirements in place - will provide some relief to business owners across Wales and a boost to the economy, but what about the tourism industry?

(The Visit Wales website has this message for potential visitors.)

What's been said about tourism in Wales?

On Friday, the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, announced the new changes to lockdown restrictions in Wales including the reopening of shops but the remaining of the 'five-mile rule'.

The Welsh Government may lift the requirement to stay local on the 6th of July, but only if safe to do so. When lifted, like in England, people will be able to travel as far as they wish for exercise, to visit friends and family outside, or to visit local tourist areas.

But when are we likely to see the tourism industry properly return in Wales?

During his announcement, Mr Drakeford told those in the tourism industry to begin to make preparations for reopening from the 13th of July at the earliest.

At the next review on the 9th of July, the Welsh Government will consider a range of specific options for opening, including allowing bookings to be made for self-contained accommodation from the 13th of July.

On Friday, the First Minister said, "If you have a static caravan that has it's own kitchen or bathroom, if you're renting a cottage or going to a hotel that has turned itself into self-contained accommodation, there will be a clear signal from me today that you should use the next three weeks to get everything you need in place, and you will be able to start taking bookings for after 13 July,".

(Fontygary Caravan Leisure Park will be one of the accommodation sites hoping to open on the 13th. Photo - Fontygary Leisure Park)

Earlier this week a letter from the heads of the tourism industry, sent to the First Minister, warned that the industry was on the "brink of collapse".

Latest estimates say the tourism industry is worth three billions pounds to the Welsh economy every year, directly supports about 120,000 jobs - almost 10% of Wales' workforce - and contributes 6% of all Gross Value Added to the Welsh economy.

The Welsh economy minister Ken Skates told BBC Radio Wales at the end of May that "The tourism sector is really going to struggle to generate any significant revenue before certainly Easter of next year, possibly the summer of next year.

"We have to protect the 2021 season by making sure we get rid of the virus as soon as possible".

The announcement by Mark Drakeford this week may have provided some much needed positivity for those in the industry.

The tourism situation in the Vale of Glamorgan

In the Vale of Glamorgan, businesses across the county rely on tourist footfall - especially during the summer months, but this weekend has seen some changes which point towards a move towards normality.

On Friday, the Vale of Glamorgan Council announced that they would be reopening car parks and public toilets at popular tourist areas around the Vale, including at Barry Island and Llantwit Major Beach.

Social distancing measures have been put in place at the Barry Island car parks and businesses such as Marcos Cafe, which opened over the weekend.

(Marco's Cafe reopened on Saturday)

Along with Marco's, Finnegans Inn, Teddy T's and Rumba have opened with limited food menus, and ahead of the good weather forecast for next week, The RNLI Lifeguards have also returned to the Island, a post on their Facebook page said:

Elsewhere in the Vale, Penarth Pier will see a new one-way system come into place to ensure social distancing can take place, and Ogmore By Sea car park has reopened.

Good signs for the tourism industry in Wales and in the Vale this weekend, with those working in the sector looking towards the 6th of June now when they will hope the Welsh Government feel it safe enough to remove the stay local message.

After that, all eyes of those in the tourism industry will be on the Welsh Government's daily press briefing on the 9th of July, when an update will be given on how the sector may emerge from a massively damaging lockdown.

New changes to the lockdown restrictions in Wales will allow all shops to open and some sport to return from Monday, but the 'five-mile rule' will remain in place for now.

First Minister Mark Drakeford announced the changes at the Welsh Government's daily press briefing.

Shop owners in Wales who have been getting ready to reopen their businesses, will be able to do so from Monday - as long as they can adhere to the social distancing rules - meanwhile sports such as tennis and athletics will be allowed to return.

But the controversial 'five-mile rule' will remain in Wales until the 6th of July, when it will be reviewed and possibly removed, but only if safe to do so, according to the First Minister.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said:

“The threat of coronavirus hasn’t gone away but thanks to the efforts we have all made over the last few months, the number of people contracting coronavirus each day in Wales is falling, so too is the risk of meeting somebody with virus.

“Given the progress we have made, we are able to take some additional cautious steps to further unlock our society and economy. This includes more retailers being able re-open their businesses, as long as they take measures to minimise the risk to their staff and to the customers who visit their stores.

“Our focus continues to be on the health risks of the outbreak, but we can now begin to cautiously focus much more squarely on the wider economic and societal impact the virus is having.

“We have provided a huge amount of support to businesses and jobs as they hibernated during the pandemic – now we start to take these careful steps to restart our economy.”

The next three weeks of lockdown in Wales will see a large change on consecutive Mondays, with shops opening on the 22nd, schools opening on the 29th, and then a potential relaxing of the stay local rules on the 6th of July.

Monday’s changes include:

  • Enabling private prayer in places of worship where social distancing is maintained and gatherings do not take place;
  • Restarting the housing market by enabling house viewings to take place in vacant properties and house moves where a sale has been agreed but not yet completed;
  • Lifting the restrictions on outdoor sports courts but social distancing must be maintained. No contact or team sports will be allowed;
  • Enabling non-professional elite athletes, including Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, to resume training.

The announcement from the First Minister also marked the end of the thirteenth week of lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic which has so far killed nearly 1500 people in Wales.

But not all feel the announcement has gone far enough in relaxing restrictions, with the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies MS saying,

“But while we welcome this announcement, it frankly beggars belief as to why travel restrictions are not being lifted too.

“Many retailers need custom from a wide area to survive and will go to the wall if they are forced to rely on local trade alone.

“It’s also unfair to prevent retailers from opening immediately, causing them to lose out on another weekend of trade, especially when they were advised three weeks ago to prepare for opening three weeks ago today."

The tourism industry is one that is "on the brink of collapse" according to a letter from the heads of the industry in Wales that was sent to the First Minister earlier this week.

Ministers have decided to lift the requirement to stay local on 6 July, provided the conditions allow. With the requirement lifted, people will be able to travel to tourist attractions across Wales.

The First Minister has today sent signal to some businesses and the visitor and tourism industry to use this period to begin to make preparations for reopening.

At the next review on 9 July, the Welsh Government will consider a range of specific options for opening:

  • Self-contained holiday accommodation;
  • Personal care services, such as hairdressing and beauty, by appointment.

Mr Drakeford said he had met tourism industry leaders on Thursday and told BBC Radio Wales this morning, "I will be saying to the visitor economy in Wales that they should use the next three weeks to prepare to re-open self-contained accommodation in Wales during the month of July".

"If you have a static caravan that has it's own kitchen or bathroom, if you're renting a cottage or going to a hotel that has turned itself into self-contained accommodation, there will be a clear signal from me today that you should use the next three weeks to get everything you need in place, and you will be able to start taking bookings for after 13 July," Mr Drakeford said.

It's expected that shops in Wales will be allowed to open from Monday as part of the next updated lockdown review.

First Minister Mark Drakeford is expected to announce the news along with any other changes to the lockdown restrictions, at the Welsh Government daily press briefing tomorrow afternoon.

The announcement will mark the end of the thirteenth week of lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Non-essential retailers have been open to the public in England since the start of the week and since last Friday in Northern Ireland. In Scotland they remain closed until the 29th of June following an announcement by the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier today.

This week Mark Drakeford said that he of course wanted to reopen the economy, but that the health of the people of Wales must come first "as that is the best way for our economy".

But earlier today, Wales' Health Minister Vaughan Gething said he does not want to see "crowds bunched together outside shops".

Although relieved at the announcement, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Paul Davies MS said more needs to be done.

“The Welsh Labour Government has finally woken up and listened to our calls to begin to re-open the Welsh economy in a safe and sensible way to protect lives and livelihoods.

“But while we welcome this announcement, it frankly beggars belief as to why travel restrictions are not being lifted too.

“The longer the lockdown, the greater the damage to the Welsh economy and the more difficult it will be to recover."

Barry Town United boss Gavin Chesterfield has signed a new two year contract with the club.

Chesterfield, who joined the club back in 2007, has managed the team for 450 games and will continue as manager in his fourteenth season with the team.

Over the past fourteen years, he has helped guide the club from Division Two all the way to the top flight Cymru Premier, and along with the club's Supporters Committee, helped ensure the club's survival after being withdrawn from league football back in 2013.

Since returning to the top flight in 2017, Barry finished in third place during the 2018-19 season, meaning they would qualify for European football for the first time since winning the top flight league in the 2002-03 season.

In a statement on the club's website, Chesterfield said:

“Firstly, I want to thank the board for their continued support and belief. I’m genuinely honoured to sign a new deal with the club. Going into my 14th season we have grown immeasurably together. The future looks exciting both on and off the field and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Fans of the club have given their reaction on social media.

A Black Lives Matter protest is set to be held in Barry this weekend, following similar events held in Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham over the last week.

The protest - being held and organised by the Stand Up To Racism Cardiff group - will be held on Kings Square in Barry town centre on Saturday, where a number of activists and anti-racism campaigners will speak.

It follows a number of protests which have taken place across the world as well as in the UK over the past two weeks, in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis on the 25th of May.

Concerns have been raised over the lack of social distancing that has taken place at protests in the UK up to now, but the organisers of the protest in Barry are saying it will be a socially distanced event, asking anyone interested in attending to contact them in order to monitor numbers.

(Details of the protest from the event page on Facebook)

Earlier this week, the leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council, Neil Moore, released a statement on the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests, saying that although he understands the protests, he also wants those attending to stay safe and observe social distancing.

"Black Lives Matter and in support of that campaign the iconic shelter at Barry Island will be lit up in purple light over the weekend.

"I fully understand the strong desire people have to protest on this emotive and powerful issue. This is a right that we should be proud of – free speech is important. However, as we remain in the midst of a global pandemic, I would urge everyone to stay safe. That obviously involves observing social distancing".

George Floyd died after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes while arresting him.

Derek Chauvin has since been charged with second degree murder, and the other three officers present have been fired and charged with aiding and abetting murder.

Hundreds gathered outside Cardiff Castle last Sunday to show solidarity with protesters in the US, and similar rallies took place across Wales including in Swansea, Bangor and Caerphilly as part of the Black Lives Matter movement.

(Hundreds gathered in Cardiff for the protest - Aarthy Balaganesh)

But after seeing the large crowds that gathered in the capital last weekend, the MS for South Wales Central, Andrew RT Davies tweeted his reaction to the gathering.

"We are in the midst of fighting a pandemic and the rules that have been introduced by the Welsh Government on public gatherings are clear, with the aim to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus, protect the NHS and save lives."

(Andrew RT Davies tweets his reaction to the protest in Cardiff last weekend)

Barry had high expectations that they could continue their recent winning run when they faced St Peters at the Reservoir Field last Saturday.

However it was not to be as the visitors proved worthy victors over a lacklustre home side who never appeared to be able to counter St Peters’ game plan and were themselves guilty of lacking any tactical awareness.

The sides shared the early exchanges, but the Rocks were first on the scoreboard from a penalty, and soon after added a second as Barry struggled to get any decent possession.

Their wasn’t much threat coming from Barry as the Rocks looked the more likely to score and only some hard work in defence and handling errors kept the score at 6–0 as half time approached.

The Rocks continued for the final minutes, applying all the pressure but the Barry line held firm.

Barry’s best period came early in the second period but what appeared to be a pre-planned move which saw Danny Ryan clear to the line was called back by the referee for crossing.

That was as good as it got for Barry. With the lineout not functioning, the Rocks took advantage to get themselves deep into the Barry half.

Things got worse as Barry went down to 14 men, leaving the scrum exposed.The Rocks took full advantage of this and after a couple of forays they finally drove over the line for the try, and the touchline conversion put them in the lead at 13 - 0.

Barry got their game together finally and gained some territory but were unable to capitalise as the lineout continued to falter, wasting

the chances created.

More chances began to come their way and a try looked on the cards but for a final pass knock on. Moments later they again attacked and, managing to control the ball this time, Chris Lockyer bustled his way over under the posts, giving Kyle Barross an easy conversion and taking the score to 13–7 and all to play for.

As much as Barry tried in the final minutes they were unable to add to their tally and the Rocks ended worthy winners.

Not a performance Barry will be particularly happy with and obviously there is work to be done to get back on track.

It is another important fixture next week as Barry travel to Porth, themselves looking to move up the table. with the kick off at 2.30pm.

A coach will leave the Club at 12.30pm for players and supporters.

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