Welsh morning headlines: News, Ukraine, Covid, sport, weather and roads updates as weather warning issued

Espnmyid

We have put together a round-up of all the latest news, weather and travel information for Friday, March 4, that will get you caught up and ready for the day.

You are waking up this morning to news that Wales is set to remove all legal coronavirus measures by Monday, March 28.

It means it will no longer be compulsory to wear face coverings in shops, on public transport, or in healthcare settings on that date and self-isolation will not be required by law.

There is no announcement yet on whether testing for Covid-19 will remain free but the Welsh Government has indicated that the country will “gradually move away from universal and routine” testing.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russia’s shelling of a nuclear power station in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia could “directly threaten the safety of all of Europe”.

The power station – the largest in Europe – caught fire after it was attacked by Russia. While the reactor is under renovation, according to the power plant’s spokesman, it still contains nuclear fuel.

Wales news headlines

Welsh Government’s plans for living with coronavirus

Wales’ response to coronavirus in the future will vary depending on whether the country is assessed as being in two different states – Covid Stable or Covid Urgent.

The Welsh Government plan, called Together for a Safer Future: Wales’ Long-term Covid-19 Transition from Pandemic to Endemic, sets out a gradual transition away from emergency measures. It states it is “based on evidence” and “with the protection of everyone, especially the most vulnerable, at its heart”.

It is being outlined on Friday (March 4), as First Minister Mark Drakeford announces all legal coronavirus measures should be lifted by Monday, March 28.

All restrictions have already been lifted in England, with major chances in Scotland from March 21.

For the next three weeks Wales will remain at alert level zero, but then the most likely scenario is that the country will move to Covid Stable – with an expectation of waves of infection not large enough to put unsustainable pressure on the NHS. Read more here.

Petrol prices are at a record high

Petrol prices in Wales have continued to break records as the cost of living increases.

On Thursday, March 3 one petrol station in Maesteg was advertising unleaded petrol at 164.9p per litre, with the Oil4Wales garage also advertising diesel at 168.9p. This is around 9p higher than the next highest petrol station in the county according to petrolprices.com, that listed Texaco Pencoed at 155.9p.

Meanwhile, at Pont Abraham in Swansea, while there was no information visible on the station forecourt sign, prices at the pumps showed 180.9p for petrol and 184.9 for diesel.

And in Radyr, Cardiff, an Esso petrol station showed unleaded prices at 159.9 per litre compared to diesel at 164.9p.

This is far above the UK average, with figures from data firm Experian Catalist showing the average cost of a litre of petrol at UK forecourts was 151.67p on Tuesday, March 1.

However, not all stations are showing such large increases in price. At the Asda Cardiff Bay Superstore petrol prices are listed as 145.7p per litre, while Tesco Extra on Excelsior Road is listed as 146.9p per litre according to the price comparison site. Read more here.

Today’s forecast

Brighter with sunny intervals and a chance of showers today. More details on the snow forecast for next week here.

Here is the latest Met Office forecast for Wales on Friday: “A drier and brighter day is in store for most of Wales, with sunny intervals coming through at times. Showers are possible, these mostly affecting western areas and here, a few heavy ones are possible. Locally breezy on western coasts. Maximum temperature 10 °C.

“Dry with clear periods for most of Wales overnight, although western coastal regions remain at risk of occasional showers. Clouding over in the east overnight. Locally chilly under clear skies. Minimum temperature 1 °C.”

Here is how the roads and rail are affected at 7am:

  • No major issues to report on Wales main roads

  • Buses run instead of trains on Transport for Wales between Shrewsbury and Newtown, Powys, because of flooding.

National news headlines

‘All of Europe’ threatened by Putin’s shelling of nuclear power station

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said Russia’s shelling of a nuclear power station in the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia could “directly threaten the safety of all of Europe”.

The power station – the largest in Europe – caught fire after it was attacked by Russia. While the reactor is under renovation, according to the power plant’s spokesman, it still contains nuclear fuel.

In an early morning phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, Mr Johnson vowed to seek an emergency UN Security Council meeting in a bid for a ceasefire.

Downing Street called the situation in Zaporizhzhia “gravely concerning”.

In a statement sent to PA News Agency, a spokeswoman for the PM’s office said: “Both leaders agreed that Russia must immediately cease its attack on the power station and allow unfettered access for emergency services to the plant.

“The Prime Minister said the reckless actions of President Putin could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe. He said the UK would do everything it could to ensure the situation did not deteriorate further.

“The Prime Minister said he would be seeking an emergency UN Security Council meeting in the coming hours, and that the UK would raise this issue immediately with Russia and close partners.

“Both leaders agreed a ceasefire was crucial.”

Several hours later, Ukrainian emergency services announced on social media that the fire had been extinguished.

Firefighters added that the blaze had been in the educational and training building of the plant and no one was harmed.

Earlier in the night, the plant’s spokesman Andriy Tuz told Ukrainian television that shells were falling directly on the Zaporizhzhia plant and had set fire to one of the facility’s six reactors.

Firefighters could not get near the fire because they were being shot at, Mr Tuz said.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) the fire did not cause a change in the plant’s radiation level. Nor had the shelling or fire caused any damage to “essential” equipment.

Knighthood for twice-sacked minister

Former education secretary Gavin Williamson has been given a knighthood, Downing Street said.

The MP for South Staffordshire was sacked by Boris Johnson during his September 2021 cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Williamson was education secretary during most of the pandemic, when he came under heavy criticism for cancelling A-levels and GCSEs two years in a row and for closing schools.




A Downing Street statement said: “The Queen has been pleased to approve that the honour of Knighthood be conferred upon The Rt. Hon. Gavin Williamson CBE MP.”

Just before Mr Williamson lost his education portfolio, he mixed up England rugby star Maro Itoje and Manchester United player – and free school meals campaigner – Marcus Rashford.

Mr Williamson was also criticised for dining with Lubov Chernukhin, the ex-wife of a former minister to Vladimir Putin, for a £30,000 donation to the Conservative Party in 2018.

In 2019, Mr Williamson lost his defence job after there was a leak from the National Security Council, although he has always denied leaking information about Huawei’s potential involvement in the UK’s 5G network.

Sport headlines

Wales World Cup play-off in doubt

Wales’ crucial World Cup play-off this month has been thrown into doubt amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

FIFA has confirmed that Ukraine has requested to postpone its World Cup play-off with Scotland on March 24.

The nations were due to meet at Hampden later this month, but football in Ukraine has been suspended following Russia’s invasion of the country.

The winners of the match had been set to play either Wales or Austria – who play each other on the same day – for a place at Qatar 2022, but the play-off path now looks uncertain.

“FIFA can confirm it has received a request from the Ukrainian Association of Football to postpone their matches scheduled for March,” a statement said on Thursday.

“FIFA remains in regular contact with UEFA and the Scottish Football Association to find an appropriate solution.

“FIFA expresses its deepest solidarity to everybody affected by what is happening in Ukraine. A further update will be provided in due course.”

Earlier this week, Scottish FA president Rod Petrie wrote “football is inconsequential amid conflict” in a message to his Ukrainian counterpart.

Alun Wyn Jones ‘keeping his head down’

Jonathan Davies has revealed Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones has been a fairly inconspicuous presence as he returned to Wales camp this week.

The second-row, who holds the record for the most Test caps in world rugby, has linked up with Wales to continue his rehabilitation from shoulder injury.

However, due to the nature of a Six Nations fallow week, Jones has largely remained unseen to his team-mates.

“I think he’s doing a rehab week this week,” Wales centre Davies said.

“Obviously the nature of the week, we haven’t been in that much. I’m sure he’s working hard, getting his rehab done.

“It’s good to see he’s in a place that, after the injury he’s had, he’s worked extremely hard to get to. You see him around about a bit, but the nature of this week is you don’t really train so you don’t see much of him.”

Get stories like this straight to your inbox with our newsletters.

Leave a Reply

Next Post

Golf Fashion: What's Fresh for Spring 2022

Spring 2022 golfing attire collections have arrived, which signifies it’s time to pack away the coats and take a appear at what’s trending for a seasonal wardrobe refresh. Colour sets the tone for spring, from bouquets budding to green pastures and blue skies. It’s the sign of brighter days, and […]