DEESIDE’S ice rink will remain a field hospital as plans to reopen other centre in Wales remains on track.

According to the Welsh Government guidance online, the plan to reopen ice rinks in the country is set at October 3 “if conditions allow”.

Speaking at Friday's Welsh Government press conference, Mr Drakeford says that this date continues to be the plan.

He said: “There are only two permanent ice rinks in Wales – one in Cardiff that will reopen providing the conditions remains as stable as it is today.

“The other permanent venue is in Deeside which is currently being used as a field hospital site and We may well need to retain it for that purpose as we enter the autumn.”

Deeside Leisure Centre was one of the three locations in the North Wales region to be converted into a field hospital to help NHS services cope with the additional capacity that coronavirus was expected to bring. The centre was converted in early April to fit 250 hospital beds for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

As well as preventing admissions they were designed to help “step-down” patients, who had received treatment at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Glan Clwyd Hospital and Wrexham Maelor Hospitals, to recover and eventually return home.

Mr Drakeford said: “I think there is no doubt we need to retain field hospital capacity into the autumn and winter.

“We are reviewing the capacity though. Our experience earlier in the year leads us to suggest that we would not need all of the capacity that was created because clinicians have learnt a lot about how to treat the disease earlier stages.”

He said the temporary sites are a vital “safety net” so hospitals can continue to treat everything else the NHS continues to deal with, adding: “We are refining the numbers and plans for field hospitals but they will remain a feature of our response to coronavirus in all parts of Wales as we go into the rest of the autumn and winter.”

Aura Leisure – who operate the centre – have previously stated that it is unlikely that Deeside will be returned to Aura for resumption as a leisure centre before early 2021.