Wales to introduce NHS Covid passes for nightclubs and large events

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Wales to introduce NHS Covid passes for nightclubs and large events

Related tags: Vaccine passport, Wales, Coronavirus

People in Wales will have to show an NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and attend large events from next month, First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced

Unlike the so-called 'vaccine passports' set to be introduced in Scotland​ in October, the NHS Covid Pass will allow adults to prove they have had a recent negative lateral flow test if they have not been fully vaccinated.

The new measure will be introduced on 11 October and require all over-18s will need to have a NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs; indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions; outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people; and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

Drakeford said: ​My message to you today is a simple but serious one – the pandemic is not over and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

"We have high levels of the virus in our communities and while our fantastic vaccination programme has helped stop thousands more people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is increasing.

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a Covid pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

“Showing a COVID Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it. We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.

“We want to do everything we can to Keep Wales Safe as we head into the autumn.” 

The Night Time Industries Association's Cymru Commission has described the announcement as disappointing.

In the statement, it said: "First and foremost we would like to reinforce our commitment to keeping staff and the public safe within the night time economy in Wales.

"We are disappointed that the Welsh Government has felt it must mandate Covid passports at this stage, albeit a more liberal implementation with the inclusion of testing. We still feel that these measures will have a negative impact on businesses, and will create considerable market distortion.

"Over the coming weeks we will have the opportunity to discuss the details further and assess the challenges for our sector." 

Earlier this week it was confirmed that the Government no longer plans to go ahead with introducing 'vaccine passports' for crowded venues in England​ later this month, although the measure will be kept 'in reserve'​.

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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