Covid: Party held in Cardiff Bay despite restrictions

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Media caption,

Hundreds seen partying in Cardiff Bay

Huge crowds have again gathered in Cardiff Bay, despite coronavirus restrictions still being in place.

Hundreds of people were seen partying close together on the steps outside the Senedd on Friday evening.

It follows similar scenes outside the same building earlier in the week, when three police officers were injured and litter was dumped on the waterfront.

Cardiff council leader Huw Thomas said people who took part should be "deeply ashamed of themselves".

Covid rules state only six people from two different households can meet outdoors.

Image source, Cai Glover
Image caption,
Hundreds of people were seen gathered on the steps of the Senedd on Friday evening

On videos posted on Twitter, people could be seen singing and drinking from later afternoon and well into the evening.

Mr Thomas said police had taken over from council marshals, who had been patrolling the site in the day, after the situation "escalated".

BBC Wales has attempted to contact South Wales Police for comment. It is not known if any arrests have been made.

Image caption,
One Cardiff Bay resident said there were more than 1,000 people at the Senedd

Math Wiliam, who lives in Cardiff Bay and works for a Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd and is a member of the party, said: "There were hundreds, possibly over 1,000 people, out in Cardiff Bay engaging in what I would describe as partying, with the largest cohort assembled on the steps of the Senedd.

"There was no adherence to social distancing rules, which was unsurprising given that many people were heavily under the influence."

He added the number of people coming to the bay had been "increasing daily".

BBC Wales reporter Mark Hutchings said "hundreds" were gathered and it was "calm, if noisy, at the time, though no social distancing".

Image source, Cai Glover
Image caption,
Crowds could be seen stretched across the waterfront on the steps of the Senedd

Mr Thomas said: "We have been in close communication with the police throughout the day.

"This is concerning and disappointing. It flies in the face of the regulations, which are there to keep us safe.

"I anticipate a bombsite there tomorrow. We'd put out extra wheelie bins, but rubbish is just being dumped. The clear-up will mean an unnecessary cost to the council and so the taxpayer.

"But this is about public health and a clear abuse of the rules. I worry about a spike in cases after this. It in fact risks prolonging restrictions, rather than easing them, as people there seemed to be complaining about."

It comes after a student launched an online petition for more bins in Cardiff Bay after rubbish was dumped there earlier in the week.

Image caption,
Cans and empty bottles could be seen on the steps of the Senedd

Wales' Covid restrictions were eased last Saturday, with people allowed to travel anywhere within the country and meet a maximum of six different people from two different households outdoors.

However, pubs remain closed until at least 26 April and it is still against the rules to travel between Wales and the other UK nations without a reasonable excuse.

Image caption,
Crowds in Cardiff Bay were still there on Friday evening

Earlier this week, police said violence and anti-social behaviour would "not be tolerated" as people gathered in the same area on Tuesday.

South Wales Police said a number of missiles, including bottles, were thrown at officers, three of whom suffered minor injuries, during the disorder earlier in the week.

Cardiff council said on Wednesday that it had taken three hours to clean up the "unacceptable amount of litter" in Cardiff Bay and the city's parks.

Image caption,
Police were monitoring the scene, but it is not yet known if any arrests have been made

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