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Police, council and health board issue joint warning to Elvis Festival fans

People who have already booked tickets, travel or accommodation to attend the Porthcawl Elvis Festival next month are being urged to remember that the coronavirus pandemic is not over, and to enjoy the occasion safely and responsibly.

The festival, which was unable to take place last year as a result of the pandemic lockdown, is due to be held on 24-26 September.

In a joint statement, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, South Wales Police and Bridgend County Borough Council are urging anyone attending the festival to remain cautious in relation to coronavirus, and are warning that people are still becoming seriously ill and dying from the disease.

The festival is not run by any single organisation, but by a number of different venues who put on Elvis-themed events.

Before attending, people are being urged to take a Lateral Flow Device test and to stay away if they test positive. Free LFD tests are available online, in many pharmacies and local testing sites.

Anyone who develops a high temperature, a new continuous cough or who notices a change in their sense of smell or taste should get a coronavirus test as quickly as possible, and self-isolate immediately.

We know how popular this event has become over the years. With the difficult time that we have all had over the last 18 months, people will be wanting to come and celebrate the festival even more. However, we urge all those who have already booked accommodation or who are planning on travelling to Porthcawl for the festival to remember that coronavirus has not gone away, and cases are continuing to rise in the area.

Although Wales is now at alert level zero and premises are able to operate with more flexibility, a number of measures should still be put in place as part of each venue’s risk assessment. Officers from the Shared Regulatory Service are working closely with venues to help them meet their responsibilities in full as per Welsh Government legislation. Venues will not all be operating in the same way as they have in the past, and this year, attendees should anticipate scaled-back entertainments, reduced capacities and more.

Anyone else who is thinking of visiting Porthcawl that weekend may want to consider delaying their visit as festival road closures in place and the potential for tens of thousands of people, long traffic queues and crowded areas are highly likely. As is standard procedure for events of this scale, South Wales Police will have a full presence in the town and enforcement officers will also be on patrol to ensure that licensed premises are adhering to all necessary rules and risk assessments.

Council Leader Huw David

Angela Jones, Deputy Director of Public Health at CTM University Health Board, said: “We recognise it has been a tough time and would encourage those attending to have a good time, but we would also ask everyone to keep themselves safe by taking measures.

“These include taking up the offer of a vaccination if they haven’t already, getting tested even for mild symptoms, meeting outside as it is safer than inside, limiting the time and number of people you interact with, keeping your distance when you can, and continuing to wash your hands and wear a face mask, especially in crowded places.”

Chief Inspector Geraint White from South Wales Police said: “We understand that people are coming to the festival to enjoy themselves, and all we ask is for them to so with a neighbourly spirit being mindful of the community around them.

“Public safety is the most important priority. There is no excuse for abusive behaviour in any setting, so we urge people to act responsibly.”

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