Vaccine passports required to enter nightclubs and large events in Wales

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Vaccine passports required to enter nightclubs and large events in Wales
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Vaccine passports 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 that people would need to show an NHS Covid pass from 11 October as part of measures introduced to curb the spread of Covid-19.

All those over 18 will need to show certification to enter nightclubs and indoor non-seated 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 more than 10,000 people in attendance.

Transmission rates are currently high in Wales, though the alert level will remain at zero for a further three weeks, Mr Drakeford said.

As of 16 September, the country’s 7-day average of cases stood at 2,315 – well over double the figure recorded a month ago. Wales also reported its highest death toll in six months on Monday, with 21 deaths recorded.

Mr Drakeford encouraged everyone to work from home whenever possible and to make sure they are fully vaccinated.

“The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have 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 tougher measures later.”

Anyone who has been fully jabbed can already download their Covid pass through the NHS app, which also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

The first minister added: “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 hope introducing the requirement to show a Covid pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.”

He noted that the policy had already been successfully used at the Green Man festival, which was held in the Brecon Beacons last month.

The move marks a departure from policy in England, where plans to introduce Covid-19 passports were dropped earlier this month.

In a dramatic U-turn, health secretary Sajid Javid announced that the policy – scheduled to begin on 1 October – would no longer go ahead following a rebellion by Tory backbenchers and business leaders. Mr Javid said he had “never liked the idea” but had been “right to properly look at it”.

Scotland, meanwhile, will introduce vaccine passports from next month. Deputy first minister John Swinney said the system would reduce the risk of transmission and help to prevent venues from being closed due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

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