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Wales prepares for Coronavirus shutdown

Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Coronavirus (Covid-19) has spread to over 149 countries in a matter of weeks, claiming over 5,600 lives and infecting nearly 150,000.

As of today, there are over 1,000 diagnosed cases in the UK and 21 deaths. Wales has seen an increase of 22 new cases, taking the total number of known effected in Wales to 60. However, the Government has said that they believe the true number of people with Covid-19 to be in the tens of thousands.

A woman wears a surgical mask in Cardiff. Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

[accordion title=”What is Coronavirus?” load=”hide”]Coronavirus is a viral disease that can cause coughing, fever and difficulty breathing. It can be more severe in older people, those with weakened immune systems and some long-term conditions like diabetes or cancer.[/accordion]

View of the Principality Stadium after the Wales v Scotland game was postponed. Photo credit: Matthew Horwood

Yesterday, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) announced the cancellation of the Wales vs Scotland Six Nations match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. The union has since suspended all forms of rugby in Wales until at least the end of March.

Credit: Welsh Government

In a statement given by the First Minister of Wales yesterday, Mark Drakeford asked for the public to do their part in minimising the risk of Coronavirus to vulnerable members of our community. He said:

“If you have a new continuous cough or high temperature, we are asking you to stay at home for seven days. This will help protect other people in the local community from becoming infected, especially older people, who are most at risk.

“It is really important you stay at home while you have symptoms. For most, coronavirus will be mild but for some people it will cause a serious illness, which will need hospital treatment. Sadly, we know some people have died.

“We may need to introduce other measures to protect people who are most at risk. All the decisions we take will be based on expert advice and we will let people know what’s happening.

“All overseas trips for students under 18 should be cancelled and people over 70 should not go on cruises, on the advice of the Foreign Office.

“Expert advice does not support the closure of schools at the moment and we are not yet at the point of advising organisations to cancel or postpone events, but this may come.”

Wales will be granted new power next week from the UK-wide Coronavirus Bill, which will help systems and services work more effectively to tackle this outbreak. All four governments have agreed a single piece of UK-wide legislation is the right approach in this circumstance.


Image credit: Cardiff Airport

The US has added the UK to its travel ban list, which comes into effect on Tuesday 17th March at 04:00 GMT. It is following the same direction as Norway and other European countries who are implementing similar shutdowns of travel across the country.

Flights are still operating from Cardiff Airport, and all customers are being advised to check with their airline or travel agent before travelling to the airport to ensure they have the latest information.

Passengers can continue to travel within the guidelines outlined by the FCO and updated UK Government advice

A number of airlines are offering more flexibility with bookings to allow for any changes that are needed, this gives our passengers the confidence they can book and travel or amend their plans.

The situation is constantly changing and Cardiff Airport have said they will continue to stay in close contact with the relevant Government authorities to get the latest guidance and advice.

Information to passengers:

Cardiff Airport is closely following guidance provided by the relevant authorities in relation to updated procedures for COVID-19.

They will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update customers as required. If you are due to travel, please contact your airline for information before coming to the airport.

If your flight is cancelled: 

  • If you have pre-booked and paid for car parking in advance should contact the company used to make the booking.
  • If you have pre-booked and paid for the Executive Lounge, please contact the company used to make the booking.
  • If you have changed your flight and wish to amend your parking or Lounge booking, please contact the company used to make the booking.

The NHS Direct Wales online symptom checker is available at: https://www.nhsdirect.wales.nhs.uk/SelfAssessments/symptomcheckers/?ScName=CoronaVirusCOVID19&SCTId=175