COVID pass required at cinemas, theatres and concerts in Wales from next week

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People in Wales will have to show a COVID pass to enter cinemas, theatres and concerts, it has been announced.

Proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test have been required to enter nightclubs and similar venues in the nation since 11 October.

But the Welsh Parliament has now extended the rules to cover cinemas, theatres and concert halls from 15 November.

Minister for Health and Social Services Eluned Morgan said: "I am pleased the extension has been agreed today following the vote. COVID has not gone away and cases remain high and we need to continue to take steps to keep Wales safe.

"The NHS COVID pass is one measure among many to help to keep businesses open while also helping to control the spread of the virus.

"The decision to introduce them has not been taken lightly and the venues that will be covered are indoors and see large numbers of people being closely together for prolonged periods of time.

"Since 11 October, people have been required to show an NHS COVID pass or recent negative lateral flow test result to enter nightclubs, similar venues and events and the service is working well.

"We have received positive feedback from a range of businesses and organisers of major events, including following the recent rugby internationals.

"We will continue to work with the sectors who are implementing the scheme to best support them."

Big Brother Watch said it would launch a legal challenge against the "authoritarian, invasive and unevidenced" scheme.

It comes as parts of Wales have the highest coronavirus rates in the entire UK.

Torfaen has the highest infection rate, with 663 new cases in the seven days to 5 November - the equivalent of 699.1 per 100,000 people.

That is down from 756.1 in the seven days to 29 October.

And Vale of Glamorgan has the second-highest rate, down slightly from 732.5 to 697.0, with 943 new cases.

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