Here in Wales we are set to introduce vaccine passports for nightclubs and large events. From October 11th if you want to go to an enclosed indoor venue or maybe a concert, you’ll need to show proof that you’ve been jabbed.
The Welsh government will use the same thresholds as set out in the Covid winter plan for England, although Boris Johnson still hasn’t laid out plans for a similar scheme in England.
It means the NHS Covid Pass must be presented by over-18s at nightclubs, indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts, conventions, outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 attending.
First minister Mark Drakeford said he hoped vaccine passes ‘will keep venues and events open’ as we head into autumn .
“Across Wales, coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels over the summer as more people have been gathering and meeting. Tragically, more people are dying from this terrible virus.
The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again.
That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.“
The Welsh Night Time Industries Association claimed it would would results in a ‘30% drop in trade’.
Benjamin Newby of the NTIA had previously warned that the system could be open to fraud and encourage people to travel to England where vaccine passports won’t be introduced.
“We, as representatives of the Welsh night time economy, fear that such measures would be immensely difficult to implement, have a hugely detrimental impact on trade, and would result in some of the hardest-hit Welsh businesses losing out to those in England, with very little public health benefit.”
Mr Drakeford said people who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS Covid Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status.
It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.
“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 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.”
Analysis released this week showed 23% of adults under 40 in Wales remain unvaccinated, with similar rates right across the UK.
The pass will allow people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.
Mr Drakeford is taking a firmer line than his counterparts in Westminster, encouraging everyone to work from home whenever possible, something the UK government has declined to do unless the situation worsens.
Awareness and enforcement of other key Covid-19 protection measures, including face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport, will also be increased in Wales.