Welsh morning headlines: Breaking news, coronavirus, Ukraine and sports news as New Zealand welcomes international tourists again

We’ve put together a round-up of all the latest news, weather and travel information for Monday May 2, as New Zealand began to welcome tourists back from the UK and more 50 more countries for the first time in more than two years after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions. Before the spread of Covid-19, more than three million tourists visited each year, accounting for 20% of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5% of the overall economy.

But international tourism came to a complete halt at the start of 2020 after New Zealand imposed some of the toughest border restrictions in the world.

Read more:Ukrainians settle in Wales and families open their homes

Border rules remained in place as the government first pursued a strategy of elimination and then tried to tightly control the spread of the virus. The spread of Omicron and the vaccinations of more than 80% of New Zealand’s five million people has led to the gradual easing of restrictions. You can get more local and national news and other story updates by subscribing to our newsletters here.

New Zealand reopened to Australian tourists three weeks ago and today to around 60 visa-free countries, including much of Europe. Most tourists from India, China and other countries without waivers are still not allowed entry. Tourists will need to be vaccinated and tested for the virus after arrival.

“Today is a day to celebrate, and a great moment in our reconnection with the world,” said Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

At Auckland airport, flights bringing tourists began landing early in the morning, coming directly from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The reopening of the border will help boost tourism ahead of the next ski season in New Zealand. But the real test of the scale of the tourism industry’s rebound will come in December, when the peak summer season begins in the southern hemisphere nation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more than 90,000 people had booked flights to New Zealand in the seven weeks since the reopening was announced and 21 international flights were due to land in Auckland on Monday.

“Our tourism industry has felt the effects of the global pandemic acutely and is working hard to prepare,” she said.

Ms Ardern said there were no immediate plans to relax virus testing and vaccination requirements for tourists.

Wales news headlines

Unexplained Covid symptoms leaving people seriously ill for weeks

Across Wales, residents continue to struggle with the debilitating aftermath of Covid-19, with some now reporting more unusual symptoms several weeks after testing positive.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show around one in 18 (5.67%) people in Wales had the virus for the week ending April 23, and while that figure is falling , there are more than 170,000 people left here with the disease . It is estimated that one in 10 people will experience what is known as a long Covid, where it takes weeks, months or even years to fully recover.

It also appears that over the past few weeks, particularly in March, when infection rates hit record highs due to the BA2 Omicron variant, people were hit with longer and more unusual bouts of illness. to coronavirus. Learn more here.

Carol Vorderman offers scholarships for students to study mathematics in Wales

Carol Vorderman is offering nine scholarships worth £2,000 each to students applying to study mathematics at Swansea University. The TV presenter and former Countdown star went to a comprehensive school in Wales and said she wanted to help pupils from a similar background.

The scholarships will be offered to applicants for undergraduate university degrees in mathematics or actuarial science. Swansea University said they would be available for those who started their studies in September. Sharing details of how to apply on Twitter, Carol expressed her hope that students from a background similar to hers could benefit. She grew up in Prestatyn and went to Blessed Edward Jones High School in Rhyl.

Inspired by her math teacher, she went on to study engineering at Cambridge, becoming one of the few female students at the time. Carol has shared her passion for numbers on Countdown for 26 years and still works to inspire young people, teachers and parents to appreciate math through her talks, books and charity work. Learn more here.

Today’s forecast

Cloudy and humid to begin with, drier and brighter later. Here is the full forecast for the Wales bank holiday:

It will be a cloudy start with low clouds, mist and fog on the hills in places. Some light rain initially in the south. Becoming drier and brighter in the afternoon with a few sunny spells and an isolated shower. Maximum temperature 16°C.

A mostly dry night will follow, although clouds will increase in the east bringing fog to the hills at times. More clear skies in the west, where it is cooler. Minimum temperature 4°C.

This is how roads and railroads are affected at 7 a.m.

  • Reports of traffic problems on the A40 from the A48 Pensarn roundabout to the A485 Abergwili roundabout. Traffic is doing well.
    Direction and obstruction to be confirmed when police arrive on scene to investigate.

  • An accident closed the B4568 Powys between the B4569 Caersws exit and Aberhafesp Church.

National news headlines

The princess celebrates her birthday with new photos

Princess Charlotte was pictured with her arm around the family cocker spaniel in a photo taken to mark her seventh birthday. The young royal, surrounded by bluebells, was photographed by the Duchess of Cambridge in Norfolk this weekend outdoors.

Charlotte and her pet dog Orla appear in one of three photos released before the princess turned seven on Monday.

William and Kate’s middle child wears her long hair loose around her shoulders and sports a blue fine cable knit jumper that matches the color of the flowers surrounding her. A white collar with dark polka dots completes the casual knit look. In Orla’s photo, the dog – who has a shiny black coat – looks to her right as Charlotte smiles at the camera, holding flowers in her left hand.

Princess Charlotte and the dog Orla

The Cambridge family spend much of their time away from London at their Norfolk home at Anmer Hall on the Queen’s Sandringham estate. Kate is a keen amateur photographer and in 2017 she accepted Honorary Life Membership from the Royal Photographic Society, which recognized her “talent and enthusiasm”. She regularly posts images of her children to mark important occasions like birthdays

Passport delays ‘could cost £1.1billion in canceled summer trips’

New research published today has warned that delays in processing passports could cost £1.1billion in canceled trips this summer. The Center for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) has estimated a 50% chance of a “successful and timely” passport renewal process for travelers based on current reports.

More than a million people applied for a new passport in March and the Passport Office expects to process nearly 10 million applications in 2022. The unprecedented demand has seen people say they can expect to wait until It’s 10 weeks for a new document and it’s vital no mistakes are made in the application process.

Now Cebr says: “Data from the VisitBritain Covid-19 Consumer Sentiment Tracker shows that more than two in five plan to travel abroad in the next 12 months. Assuming passport holders are somewhat more likely to having travel plans that the population as a whole and a quarter of them will have made a reservation leaves just under a million holidaymakers at risk due to delays.”

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has denied there has been a backlog in processing passports as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. But he said there was huge demand after five million Britons delayed applying for passports when travel was restricted. There have been warnings of canceled holidays due to delays in processing applications as demand recovers from the pandemic, with the passport office advising travelers to apply 10 weeks in advance.

The number of valid UK passports fell by more than 2.5 million in the first two calendar years of the Covid-19 pandemic as people delayed applications. A total of 48.9 million passports were in circulation at the end of last year, down 2.6 million from the end of 2019.

This is a stark change from the pre-pandemic period, which saw the number of passports jump from 50 million in December 2017 to 51.5 million two years later. The figures were obtained by the PA news agency from the Passport Office through a freedom of information request.

Sports titles

What Wayne Pivac learned from his South Africa tour

Wayne Pivac and his fellow Wales managers were out in force to watch the Ospreys defeat the Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship clash at Swansea on Saturday night. There were one-on-one battles across the park and points up for grabs in the quest for Wales places on the tour to South Africa this summer.

Nothing is likely to have been decided solely on the basis of a game. But sometimes impressions can form that take time to change. Who has emerged in credit in some of the key contests to give Pivac a boost? We take a close look here

Bale missed Real Madrid celebrations

Real Madrid clinched their 35th La Liga title on Saturday with a 4-0 win over Espanyol. Needing just one point to be crowned champions, Madrid brushed aside Vicente Moreno’s side to conclude the league with four games to play.

But Welsh star Gareth Bale was not involved in the celebrations at the Bernabeu, which was the 32-year-old’s third domestic title won during his time in Spain. The international skipper revealed a back spasm had taken him off the ground, adding he was disgusted to miss post-match festivities in the Spanish capital.

He tweeted: “CAMPEONES! So disappointed not to be able to join in the celebrations tonight due to a back spasm but really proud of the team that won the title! Enjoy tonight guys!”