The rules on exercise, sports events, children’s matches and gyms in Wales from Boxing Day


Wales will see new Covid regulations introduced from 6am on Boxing Day which will affect various parts of our lives as the Welsh Government tries to slow the spread of Omicron.

Professional and grassroots sport, gym-goers, fitness classes and kids’ sport will all be affected.

Here’s a look at what the new rules will be in Wales from December 26:

Professional sport

Professional sport in Wales will have to be played behind closed doors without fans.

It is a big blow as this would normally be one of the busiest times of the year for fans attending festive sports fixtures.

Welsh Rugby Union chief executive Martyn Phillips has estimated that every Welsh derby or European fixture taking place without fans would mean a loss of more than £100,000 per match.

The Welsh Government has announced a £3million Spectator Sports Fund to support affected venues.

Read more: Welsh rugby boss warns of ‘potentially catastrophic situation’ amid fan ban


From Boxing Day, the alert level two measures will mean there is a general requirement of two-metre social distancing in all premises open to the public, where reasonable, and that of course includes gyms.

There is no limit on members attending a gym if exercising separately. See below for what it means for fitness classes.

Indoor events

The maximum number of people who will be able to gather at an indoor event will be 30.

In sports terms, this would likely most often apply to fitness and exercise classes.

Outdoor events

The maximum number of people who can gather at an outdoor event will be 50.

This will impact organised festive swims, with Porthcawl’s Christmas Day swim already being called off.

What about spectators?

There will be an exception for team sports which allows up to 50 spectators to gather and watch, in addition to those taking part.

Read more: Mark Drakeford explains why you can watch sport inside the pub but not outside at a stadium

Read more: Welsh Government’s 50-spectator rule has rugby clubs asking how they’ll police it

What about children’s events?

There is also an exception for events involving children.

The Welsh Government said there is no limit on activities for the wellbeing or development of children U18.


Parkrun 5k events in Wales will be suspended from January 1. Junior parkrun, however, will carry on for children aged four to 14 due to an exemption for children’s events.

A parkrun statement said: “We know that some Welsh parkrun events regularly have fewer than 50 people attending, however it would take a very small influx (at what is typically a very busy time of year) for them to exceed the limit.”

They say events scheduled for Christmas Day can go ahead as planned, but events from January 1 will be cancelled.


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