Welsh morning headlines: News, coronavirus, sport, weather and roads updates as Storm Franklin batters Wales


We have put together a round-up of all the latest news, weather and travel information for Monday, February 21, that will help your get your day off to the right start.

A yellow weather warning for wind is in place covering the whole of Wales, with wind gusts anticipated at 65-75mph in coastal areas, and more widely 50-60mph further inland.

The warning is in place 1pm on Monday, February 21 for the whole of Wales with the Met Office warning of “very strong winds” with “possible disruption.”

A number of roads around Wales including the M48 Severn Bridge are closed due to high winds or fallen trees.

In other news, house prices have risen again to a record high.

Wales news headlines

Another weather warning as Storm Franklin batters UK

A yellow weather warning for wind is in place across the whole of Wales as the country is hit by Storm Franklin.

Wales has been battling with Storm Franklin since Sunday afternoon as high speed gales and heavy rain swept across the country.

Wind gusts are anticipated to hit 65-75mph in coastal areas, and more widely 50-60mph further inland.

The yellow warning for wind is in place 1pm on Monday, February 21 for the whole of Wales with the Met Office warning of “very strong winds” with “possible disruption.”

The centre of Storm Franklin will track eastwards over the north of Scotland from early Monday morning, with the highest winds expected on the southern flank of the system. The centre of Storm Franklin will clear into the North Sea on Monday morning, although high winds will continue to be felt for most through Monday.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Andy Page said: “Following the significant impacts of Storm Eunice on Friday, Storm Franklin will bring further high winds for many late on Sunday and into Monday, although not on the same scale as Eunice.

“Coastal areas of Northern Ireland, especially on that north coast, will get the strongest wind gusts, which could be around 80mph in a few places. Amber and Yellow Wind Warnings have been issued, and people should remain cautious ahead of the system that will bring 50-60mph wind gusts for much of the UK from late on Sunday and through Monday.”

The latest storm follows on from a week in which Storm Dudley and Storm Eunice also impacted the UK, the latter bringing with it a red weather warning.

Multiple roads across the country have been blocked or closed by flood water and fallen trees as a result of the impact wrecked by recent storms, including Franklin.

Train operators have warned customers to “avoid travel if possible” on Monday as services are expected to be paralysed by gale-force winds and lashing rain.

National Rail has warned anyone making essential journeys once services resume to expect “major disruption” to routes “across most of Great Britain” – including cancellations, delays and slower speeds onboard.

Live updates on the storm can be found here.

Here is how the roads are affected at 7am:

  • M48 Severn Bridge is closed in both directions with diversions via the Prince of Wales Bridge

  • A548 Flintshire Bridge closed in both directions due to strong winds from Kelsterton Road (Connah’S Quay Turn Off, Deeside) to Deeside Industrial Park (Deeside ).

  • A483 in both directions closed due to accident from A458 (Sarn Bryn Caled roundabout) to The Horseshoe Inn.

  • A470 closed in both directions due to flooding between Rhayader and Llangurig.

  • A5 Berwyn Road in both directions is closed due to flooding between Corwen and Llangollen.

  • A487 Dyfi Bridge in both directions is closed due to flooding between A493 and Machynlleth Train Station.

  • The A483 and the A5 are closed in both directions due to strong winds between A5 (Gledrid Roundabout, Gledrid) and A483 J1 (A539, Ruabon).

  • The A4042 Usk Road in both directions is closed due to flooding from A40 Monmouth Road (Hardwick Roundabout) to A472 Berthon Road (Little Mill Junction).

  • The A486 is closed in both directions due to fallen tree between B4335 (Henllan) and Llangeler (Llangeler).

Coronavirus headlines

Latest infection rate for Wales

The infection rate has fallen to below 300 per 100,000 people, according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.

The latest data released on Friday, February 18, shows that 1,260 new positive cases, bringing the total to 807,096.

The overall number of people who have died within 28 days of testing positive in Wales has now risen to 6,943.

Public Health Wales have announced they are scaling down their daily coronavirus data reporting, and daily figures are no longer released on weekends.

The latest infection rate based on PCR tests for the seven days up to February 13 now stands at 290.9 cases for every 100,000 people – a reduction from the 299.9 cases recorded on Thursday. Thursday was the first time the infection rate had gone below 300 since August 2021.

The infection rate based on PCR tests is only a guide to the spread of Covid in Wales as it does not include lateral flow test results, which are reported weekly in Wales. People with no symptoms who test positive on an LFT no longer need a confirmatory PCR test.

The latest data on lateral flow tests, published on Thursday for the week to February 12, show there have been a further 16,905 positive test results reported. That’s down from 18,690 the previous week. Positivity also decreased from 11.87% to 10.24%. The highest incidence rate was in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area with 680.2 positive tests for every 100,000 people.

Passes are no longer needed in Wales

From midnight on Friday, February 18 the legal requirement to show proof of vaccination or a negative test to visit indoor or outdoor events and venues, including nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls will have ended, but events and venues will be able to continue to use it if they choose to.

The international Covid Pass will continue to be needed for international travel. Travellers will need to check the relevant countries’ rules for entry, including any different requirements for children, according to advice from the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Government’s deputy minister for arts and sport, Dawn Bowden, said: “When it was introduced, the Covid Pass was part of a suite of measures to give people confidence, keep businesses open and to keep Wales safe. I’d like to thank all the sectors for their cooperation and feedback during this challenging time.

“With increasing numbers of people vaccinated and boosted, and thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone across Wales, we are confident that coronavirus rates are falling and we can look forward to brighter times ahead.” More details here.

National news headlines

SBTV founder Jamal Edwards son of Loose Women star Brenda dies aged 31

Music pioneer Jamal Edwards MBE – credited with launching the careers of a number of music artists and inspiring a generation – has died, aged 31.

The entrepreneur was the founder of the online urban music platform SB.TV and the son of Loose Women star Brenda Edwards.

His pioneering work in the music industry led him to become friends with several celebs – including Ed Sheeran, Will.i.am, Professor Green and Rio Ferdinand.

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the author who was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours list in 2014 for his work in music and his business – including from his mum’s TV co-star Denise Welch.

The telly star typed: “My heart aches for my friend Brenda. I can’t bear it. Jamal Edwards was a wonderful son and brother.”

His cause of death has not be revealed.

The Queen has tested positive for Covid

The Queen has contracted Covid, Buckingham Palace announced on Sunday.

The monarch, 95, has tested positive for the virus and is experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms” but expects to carry out “light duties” this week.

The head of state has fallen ill after it was confirmed she had been in direct contact with her eldest son and heir, the Prince of Wales, the week he had the disease earlier this month.

The announcement was made just a few weeks after the nation’s longest-reigning monarch reached her historic Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne on February 6.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: “Buckingham Palace confirm that The Queen has today tested positive for Covid.

“Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor over the coming week.

“She will continue to receive medical attention and will follow all the appropriate guidelines.

Sport headlines

Wales win ‘won’t surprise’ top pundit

Jeremy Guscott reckons England and Wales are each looking frail heading to Twickenham this week and reckons the result could go either way.

The England centre legend believes Eddie Jones’ men are favourites to win, but said: “Nothing will shock me about the outcome of this match – whereas an England win in Paris in the last round would.”

In a column for The Rugby Paper, Guscott argued France and Ireland are a cut above the other Six Nations teams.

Read more:The latest Six Nations breaking news and headlines

Looking ahead to the Twickenham clash, he wrote: “Wales have big game players in Dan Biggar and Taine Basham, but they also have a string of big injuries so they are properly disrupted.

“A lot of people were surprised they beat Scotland because they looked frail against Ireland, whereas Scotland counter-punched well against England.

“The error by Finn Russell proved crucial in Cardiff, but generally Wales and England are in very similar situations and it has left their fans asking ‘where’s the world class glitter?’

“Louis Rees-Zammit is the stardust in the Welsh side, but the Darcy Graham try is a video nasty for him.

“England need to shut up their critics with their level of performance.

“I make England favourites because they are at home and because the two teams have frailties. However, nothing will shock me about the outcome of this match.”

Cardiff City star reveals Premier League promotion wish

Ryan Wintle has his sights set on Premier League football with Cardiff City and believes the talented youngsters who are now beginning to flourish will be central to their promotion push in years to come.

Cardiff’s season has been an underwhelming one. It started poorly and tailed off rapidly before Steve Morison took the reins back in October, which has preceded an upturn in form.

Wintle’s own season has not been quite what he had envisaged when he signed as a free agent last summer, that’s for sure. The midfielder was brought in and then shipped out immediately on loan to Blackpool before being recalled in January.

The 24-year-old has impressed since coming back to the club, along with a number of new recruits and academy products.

One of the reasons Wintle chose Cardiff was because he wanted to fulfil his dream of playing in the Premier League. Of course, Cardiff’s aim as a club is to get there again, too.

With this season having quickly turned into an attempt to stave off relegation rather than achieve promotion, it is a campaign in which the Bluebirds have been able to coax through some younger talent with one eye on the future.

Full story here.

Politics in Wales today

  • The Commons returns from recess

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