The Welsh Government have announced that they will introduce a two week “fire-break” national lockdown from 6:00pm on Friday, 23 October. This will last until the early hours of Monday, 9 November. The press release regarding the announcement can be found here https://gov.wales/national-coronavirus-fire-break-to-be-introduced-in-wales-on-friday
FAQs are available on the Welsh Government website, including sections on sport and exercise: https://gov.wales/coronavirus-firebreak-frequently-asked-questions#section-53257
The key messages are that:
- This is a “stay at home” order. People are expected to stay at home as much as possible.
- All businesses such as retail, hospitality, leisure etc, except “essential retail” will close, similar to the position in April.
- All gatherings with people outside of your immediate household will not be permitted, whether indoors or outdoors.
- Exercise should start and end at home (unless there are mobility issues etc).
- The period is strictly time limited to just over two weeks.
The Welsh Government acknowledges the importance of exercise for the nation’s physical and mental health. The public will therefore be permitted to leave home to exercise outdoors during the lockdown, but exercise should start at home, or as close to it as possible – and exercise must be undertaken either alone, or with members of your household (and/or a carer) ONLY.
We understand that Bowls Clubs will be affected by this enforced closure and we suggest consulting the Business Wales website for regularly updated guidance about support and resources available to them. As an example, businesses covered by the small business rates relief scheme are due to receive a £1,000 grant payment. More details will be available here https://businesswales.gov.wales/coronavirus-advice/covid-19-business-support-finder
Sport Wales also have the BE ACTIVE Wales fund for clubs to access and have announced extra support for the sector – more details will be released soon: https://www.sport.wales/grants-and-funding/
We will continue to liaise with Sport Wales and the Welsh Sports Association, alongside colleagues in Welsh Government, and will update the National Governing Bodies, clubs and participants on the likely implications for sport following the fire-break as soon as further details emerge.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all clubs and participants for their patience and understanding during this difficult time for bowls and sport in Wales.