Wales has introduced a COVID-19 pass scheme for large-scale events and entry to venues and nightclubs.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced today (Friday) that the new rules will begin on October 11. Ticket holders and party goers will have to prove, through the NHS COVID Pass, that they have been doubled vaccinated against coronavirus, or have had a negative test in the last 48 hours.
Drakeford said the acceptance of negative tests is to stop discrimination against those that are unable to have the COVID-19 vaccine. The First Minister also said that only allowing double-vaccinated people into sports matches or nightclubs raised “a series of ethical, legal and technical questions”.
The rules on the COVID pass will apply to no-seating events with more than 500 people present and outdoor no-seating events with more than 4,000 people. The new regulations will also apply to night clubs.
In response, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) 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.”
Wales is the second country within the UK to approve some form of COVID Pass Scheme.
Last week, Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) voted in favour of implementing a COVID-19 passport scheme to enter large-scale events and nightclubs.
The regulations come into effect from October 1 and Scottish residents will have to prove they are vaccinated against coronavirus in order to enter large events and venues.
The Welsh announcement comes as UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced this week (Monday) that England will not have a COVID-19 passport scheme introduced.