Wales ‘firebreak’ lockdown: Elite sport allowed to go ahead

Wales’ Six Nations match against Scotland is among the sporting fixtures that will go ahead during the “firebreak” lockdown as the imposed measures do not include elite sport.

The Welsh Government confirmed elite professional sport can continue during the lockdown, which will run for 17 days from 6pm on Friday until November 9.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the introduction of a new lockdown would deliver a “short, sharp shock” in an attempt to halt coronavirus cases.

Wayne Pivac’s side travel to Paris this weekend to take on France in a warm-up match before hosting the Scots on October 31 in their final Six Nations game from March’s rearranged schedule.

Championship sides Swansea City and Cardiff City will be able to fulfil their fixtures for the duration of the lockdown, as will Newport County in League Two and Wrexham in the National League.

The Guinness PRO14 schedule will similarly not be affected by the lockdown, nor will horse racing. However, the elite programme, which is part-funded by the Welsh Government and focuses on developing Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games success, will be put on hold.

“Sportspeople who work and earn a living through sport are allowed to continue working, and like everyone else they can leave home to do so if they cannot work from home,” read a statement on the Welsh Government website. “However, the elite programme, overseen by Sport Wales, will be suspended during this circuit breaker period.

“Fixtures involving professional sportspeople are allowed to continue behind closed doors. All participants, such as players, officials, coaches, and broadcasters, are there in a working capacity.”

Golf courses, tennis courts, leisure centres and swimming pools will be closed during the lockdown as recreational sport is temporarily suspended, but people are permitted to leave home to exercise with members of their household and/or a carer.

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