23 September 2020

Ice Arena Wales Update 23/09/20

Ice Arena Wales: Re-Opening Strategy, September 2020

During the Covid-19 related events of recent weeks and associated governmental announcements in the UK and in Wales in that period, Ice Arena Wales has had its re-opening strategy under constant review.  There has also been monitoring of the re-opening of ice rinks in England and elsewhere.

The Welsh Government recently gave permission in principle for permanent ice rinks in Wales to re-open on 3rd October.  This permission was prior to the most recent restrictions applied to all of the regions in South Wales surrounding Cardiff itself, these being in response to a clear and accelerating rise in the spread of Covid-19 in Wales and the UK as a whole.

The high risk setting that Wales and the UK is currently in with respect to Covid-19 is reflected in the following:

  • The raising of the UK’s Covid-19 Alert Level to Level 4;
  • The decision to halt all plans for a partial return of fans to sports stadiums;
  • The suspension of the entire UK Elite Ice Hockey League season for 2020/21 (affecting Cardiff Devils)
  • New restrictions on social mixing announced on 22nd September by all UK governments;
  • Continuing uncertainty as to numbers of participants allowed for indoor leisure and sports activities and potential further restrictions in the future.

The likelihood of further constraints and even withdrawal of permission to open and/or subsequent forced closure is therefore considered to be very high.

Due to the above factors and the general high risk setting, in addition the significant and exceptional costs that a facility like Ice Arena Wales incurs (twin-pad freezing, staffing, maintenance, Covid- compliance, etc), any re-opening or even a partial re-opening cannot be sustainably undertaken at this time.

Notwithstanding this, Ice Arena Wales continues to work closely with national sports governing bodies, Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government and the DCMS to seek all possible support and review all possible options for a sustainable and sustained re-opening for all valued customers and users as soon as possible.

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