A vaccine passport will be required to enter nightclubs and attend large events in Wales from next month, the country’s first minister has announced.
Mark Drakeford said people will have to show an NHS Covid pass from 11 October as part of measures introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Everyone over the age of 18 will be required to show certification to enter nightclubs and indoor non-seating events for more than 500 people. A pass will also be required for outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, and for any setting or event with an attendance of more than 10,000 people.
Drakeford said the transmission rate is currently high in Wales, although the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks.
As of September 16, the country’s 7-day average of cases stood at 2,315 – more than double the figure recorded a month earlier. Wales also reported its highest death toll in six months on Monday, with 21 fatalities being recorded.
Mr Drakeford encouraged everyone to work from home whenever possible and ensure they were fully vaccinated.
“The last thing we want is for a lockdown and businesses to close their doors once again,” he said.
“That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for stricter measures later.”
Anyone who has been completely quarantined can already download their COVID pass through the NHS app, which also allows people to show that they have had a lateral flow test within the past 48 hours. The result has been negative.
The first minister continued: “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.
“There are high levels of the virus in our communities, and while our spectacular vaccination program has helped prevent thousands of people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is mounting.
“We hope introducing a requirement to show a COVID pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have recently started doing business again – open.”
He said the policy has been used successfully at the Green Man Festival held in Brecon Beacon last month.
The move marks a departure from policy in England, where plans to introduce COVID-19 passports were abandoned earlier this month.
In a dramatic U-turn, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the policy – set to begin on October 1 – would not go ahead after a revolt by Tory backbenchers and business leaders. Mr Javid said he “never liked the idea” but had a “right to look at it”.
Meanwhile, Scotland will introduce a vaccine passport from next month. Deputy First Minister John Swinney said the system would reduce the risk of transmission and help prevent locations from being closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /