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Pilot Test Events Planned
06 Apr 2021, Tuesday

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Everyone has suffered an enforced sabbatical from being able to watch the Martyrs in ‘live’ action over the last 12 months, but eventually moving to Alert Level 3 (High Risk) in the Senedd's revised Coronavirus Control Plan, would mean that a small number of outdoor pilot events of between 200 and 1,000 people are being planned. These will build on the test events held last September. They will include cultural and sports events across Wales, including a potential stadia event.

It's understood that the FAW have requested whether the pre-Euros send-off friendly against Albania in Cardiff taking place on 5th June, can be one of the test events. The FAW are certainly hoping that a limited number of fans will be allowed access into the stadium, but this will be dependent on the current rate of infections over the next two months.

Discussions are currently taking place among the four UK nations to establish whether vaccine passports should be introduced, and reports in the media suggest that nothing is being ruled out at this stage when it comes to getting fans back inside sports stadiums, which will be an essential element for ourselves if the season is to start in August.

First Minister Mark Drakeford, told a press conference on Thursday, when announcing the latest lockdown-easing timetable for Wales, that he himself hoped to be able to return to watch live sport over the summer. "We all look forward to being able to be back watching sport", he said. "We're going to have some pilot events here in May in the sports and the arts, and we're part of the UK group that is looking at the return of spectators to sporting venues. It's connected with a number of other debates including vaccine certification and lateral flow testing and so on. Our shared wish is to get people back into sporting arenas but to do it, of course, in a way that is sensitive to the public health context and in a way that is safe as possible for us all."

Mr Drakeford said there would be "many practical and ethical issues" to overcome before vaccine certificates were used, revealing he discussed the matter with the minister in charge of the cabinet office, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and ministers in Northern Ireland last Wednesday.

Mr Drakeford said "It is very important that we have those pilot events to learn from them, make sure we can have that number of people together safely, and then - if we can - to extend those numbers further and later on into the summer. Provided things remain with the virus suppressed as it is today, then we will be able to do more to allow people back into events of that sort. That is a possibility for this summer, provided we do things in the way we have set out."

For the time being at least watching the Euros in the company of our fellow socially distanced Martyrs supporters may be restricted to a large screen in a 'Fan Zone Beer Garden' at the ground!

However, travelling to watch Wales away in the three games in September and October will depend on the travel corridor restrictions and what quarantine arrangements are in place.


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