Fans set to return in pilot test events at football and cricket in Wales

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Pilot test events will take place in Wales during the next month as sporting fixtures in the country prepare to welcome back supporters.

An update from the Welsh Government on Tuesday confirmed plans for Newport, Swansea and Glamorgan games to be played in front of fans over the next four weeks.

The Wales national team will also get the chance to play with spectators in attendance at the Cardiff City Stadium in their European Championship warm-up fixture with Albania on June 5.

“Welsh Government is working with partners on the delivery of pilot test events which will develop processes and guidance that will allow the safe return of events in Wales,” a statement read.

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“Managing a safe and successful test events programme will hopefully allow larger gatherings back to stadia, theatres and other venues in Wales later this year.”

Newport welcomed the announcement by the Welsh Government that they will be able to host fans for their upcoming Sky Bet League Two play-off semi-final first leg against Forest Green at Rodney Parade on May 18.

Four days later and Swansea will host Barnsley in the second leg of their Championship semi-final at the Liberty Stadium, with supporters set to be in attendance.

Up to 1,000 spectators will be permitted into Sophia Gardens to watch Glamorgan and Lancashire do battle between June 3-6 in the LV= Insurance County Championship before fans will be able to get behind the Wales national team before the Euros this summer.

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Caretaker boss Rob Page has three warm-up fixtures before the tournament gets under way and the clash with Albania at Cardiff City Stadium on June 5 will now be played in front of 4,000 fans.

Mark Drakeford, First Minister of Wales, said: “It’s been a long and difficult 18 months for the events industry in Wales – for event owners, those who depend on the sector for the work – and for those who long to see the return of live events to Wales.

“As we look at lifting the coronavirus restrictions in Wales we have worked closely with event organisers to establish a list of pilot test events which take in a range of different locations and types of event.

“This work is bringing us a step closer to a return to events in Wales, I’d like to thank these event owners and local authorities and health boards for their commitment in working with us and wish them well over the summer.”