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Wales COVID pass a ‘shambles’ says NTIA

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Wales Commission has expressed its opposition to the Welsh COVID-19 pass, which is set to be introduced from October 11. 

The association also said in a statement that it was outraged a Conservative Member of the Senedd (MS) was denied a vote. 

The statement said: “The NTIA Commission Wales has long campaigned against the introduction of COVID passports due to the operational barriers these measures will cause. We were pleased to see the number of MSs that listened to our concerns today and voted against these proposals. 

“It is a democratic outrage that one MS who wanted to vote, and who would’ve voted against the proposals, could not, due to a mere technical error. This shambles will cause even more uncertainty for our businesses. 

“There must be an urgent revote so that the will of the Senedd can be fairly expressed and businesses have some clarity about the future.”

The Senedd voted in favour of the passports, though it was extremely close with 28 politicians voting for and 27 voting against. 

Conservative Vale of Clwyd Member of the Senedd Gareth Davies was unable to take part in the vote with the Tories citing technical difficulties. 

All over-18s in Wales will need to show an NHS COVID Pass to enter indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions, nightclubs, outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, as well as any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance. 

The NHS COVID Pass will show that ticket holders are fully vaccinated, or they have to prove a recent negative COVID test to enter the event. 

The Welsh COVID pass is similar to that of the scheme in Scotland, which was launched last week to complaints and issues surrounding the app. 

Users were unable to access their vaccination status, with the NHS Scotland COVID Status app only being launched the night before the scheme was implemented. 

When the idea of a COVID passport in Wales was introduced, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “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 the terrible virus. 

“The very strong advice we have from our scientific advisers is to take early action to prevent infections increasing further. 

“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.” 

Image: Catrin Ellis on Unsplash