Ice skating banned in Cardiff and Swansea Christmas attractions

This follows advice from Wales’ Chief Medical Officer

The Welsh Government have recently announced that skating attractions in Cardiff and Swansea are not permitted to open, after the public health advice was given by Wales’ Chief Medical Officer. The outdoor ice walks that are a famous feature of Cardiff and Swansea’s winter attractions will not open, due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A joint statement was released on Tuesday by Cardiff Council as well as Swansea Council, stating that they “appreciate” the disappointment it will create, and that “the safety of everyone during the pandemic remains our main concern and its important to follow the latest scientific evidence.” 


Sayers Events, the operator for Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland, which are invested in the outdoor features, are saddened that they have to change their aim of enhancing the activities to get shoppers into the festive spirit.

Cardiff’s main attraction this year was an open air ice walk, which was very similar to that from the Winter Wonderland event in previous years, but with extra room on the pathways to allow for social distancing, and a reduced capacity. The sessions that ran would have been pre-booked, but now it is said that refunds will be issued due to the last minute cancellations that have been imposed.

Tickets for these attractions went on sale not too long ago, but there will now be full refunds for those who have booked and paid for a slot.

Cardiff has already opened some of their attractions such as food and drink stalls, which have been designed specifically to ensure that the general public is safe. There is a one-way system, designated seating arrangements with a table service, and face masks are to be worn in the most confined sections. This is to allow visitors to enjoy themselves and the upcoming festive period in a safe manner that adheres to the social-distanced rules.

Dene Yandle, 51, from Ebbw Vale, spoke to Wales Online about booking tickets in advance for the Cardiff attraction. He said, “I’m really disappointed. I think we really have a chance of being locked down over Christmas.”

Gareth from Pontypool stated, “After everything else 2020 has thrown at us, I feel it is very unfair that this brief glimpse of respite has been pulled at the 11th hour.” 

“I think everybody assumed it wasn’t going to happen – they probably should have left it at that. It’s dreadful for the children. We have had a terrible year – they have missed school and seeing friends.”

On Wednesday, the Government had said “there is clear evidence that the risk is higher in cooler, noisy and humid environments.” The Technical Advisory Group has emphasised that there is a  significantly higher risk of transmission from ice features such as ice rinks and ice walks, and this means for indoor and outdoor purposes as well.

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