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Revellers condemned for breaching Covid-19 rules at Cardiff Bay

Revellers who left piles of rubbish after gathering in Cardiff Bay on Good Friday have been condemned for breaching coronavirus regulations.

Cardiff Council said a significant amount of rubbish had been left by “large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions”.

It follows similar scenes outside the Senedd earlier in the week, when three police officers suffered minor injuries when bottles were thrown.

On Saturday, metal fencing was erected around the home of the Welsh Parliament – which is currently in recess ahead of its pre-dissolution period – to discourage crowds from meeting on the building’s steps.

Meanwhile, police have been given powers to put a dispersal order in place which will allow them to exclude people from the area.

Covid-19 rules in Wales only allow six people from two households to meet outdoors.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “Once again our teams have been faced with the huge task of cleaning up a significant amount of rubbish left behind by large groups of people intent on breaking Covid-19 restrictions.

“Last night, bins were left unused and the ground was littered with rubbish. Council staff have been on site since the early hours of the morning, working hard to clear and clean the area.

“Despite the preventative measures put in place by the council, in partnership with South Wales Police, the Welsh Government’s coronavirus regulations were again broken by a significant number of people illegally gathering in Cardiff Bay.

“The rules are clear, six people, from two households are allowed to meet outdoors, maintaining two-metre social distancing.

“Breaking these rules significantly increases the chances of Covid-19 cases rising in the city. We urge everyone to follow the advice, maintain social distance, and to keep Cardiff safe.”

First Minister Mark Drakeford said on Thursday that images of a large crowd gathered outside the Senedd on the previous night, when three police officers also suffered minor injuries, were “very distressing”, and that it would be a “terrible shame” if the Senedd had to be fenced off.

He told the PA news agency: “It will be a terrible shame if the Senedd were to become less available to people because a huge majority of people who visit Cardiff Bay who want to see where the government that acts on their behalf operate because the act in exactly rhe right way.

“I hope that the actions of a small minority of people are not going to deprive the majority of people in Wales from the freedom to act as they do in line with the rules.”

Mr Drakeford added: “One of the things I like most about the Senedd is the gap between the people who are elected to make decisions on behalf of the people and the people themselves is literally one pane of glass.

“The building was deliberately designed in the way it is to be as open and accessible as it can be, and that’s exactly what I would wish it to continue to be.”

The Welsh Conservatives have called for outdoor hospitality to be reopened in Wales before the planned April 26 date.

Russell George, the shadow economy spokesman, said: “Labour ministers must have a rethink on outdoor hospitality.

“The huge gatherings we are seeing across Wales brings a number of challenges not just in the fight against coronavirus, from littering to anti-social behaviour.

“It’s going to be a very long month if we have decent weather and ministers need to view outdoor licensed premises with their various facilities and experience as part of the solution, not the problem.

“We’ve made great progress on case rates and the vaccination programme, and it would be a shame to see this work undone with gatherings which can’t be managed safely and effectively.

“Wales’s licensed premises have vast experience managing customers and have invested significant sums of money into making their facilities Covid-secure.

“Let’s trust business and let’s ensure we continue on the path of reopening Wales in a safe and manageable manner.”