Posted: Fri 9th Oct 2020

Young athletes will be allowed to cross local lockdown areas to train with their own sports clubs for people living in or visiting the wrexham area

Children will now be allowed to cross local lockdown areas to train with their own sports clubs.

Under current restrictions, people are not allowed to enter or leave their county area without a “reasonable excuse” if it has been placed into a local lockdown.

Today First Minister Mark Drakeford announced a relaxing of the rule for young athletes during today’s Welsh government coronavirus briefing.

Nearly 10,000 people had signed a petition calling on the Welsh government to make sports training a “reasonable excuse” for children to travel.

As part of the return to play protocols, grassroots and academy football teams have implemented strict measures set out by the Football Association of Wales allowing them to restart training sessions.

The local lockdown measures have meant youngsters living in Wrexham, Cheshire, Wirral and Denbighshire playing for teams such as Connah’s Quay Nomads and Flint Town United academies have been unable to train with their teammates.

We asked Mark Drakeford last week if he was aware of the petition and was he prepared to relax the local lockdown rules for young athletes to cross borders and train with their respective teams.

In response, the first minister said: “I recognise that the (local lockdown) rules are complex and can be hard to follow but the simpler the rule, the rougher the justice, because simple rules mean that there are always anomalies and people not being able to do things that they do.

“Once you start having exceptions, differences, concessions, then the rules become more complicated straightaway.”

“I think what we’ve learned over the months is, is that when you make concessions, even when you’re trying to do it, for the best of reasons, it inevitably leads to another set of questions about why other things are made exceptional, as well.”

During today’s press conference the first minister revealed he was going to change the rule for young athletes, he said:

“Last week we changed the local restriction rules to enable people who live alone and are single parents to form a temporary bubble with another household in their local authority area to deal with loneliness and isolation.”

“Now we intend to amend the regulations to allow children to take part in organised sporting activity if this takes place outside their county boundaries.”

“I know that these are small changes in a difficult national picture and that difficult national picture is reflected in the figures we have seen this week.

A number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus in Wales has been rising over the last seven days, more people are testing positive every day.”

Local restrictions were introduced in the counties of Flintshire, Wrexham, Conwy and Denbighshire last week preventing travel in and out of the areas without a reasonable excuse.

Further information regarding the restrictions are available via the Welsh Government’s website.

You can view today’s briefing here: 

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