It’s been announced that people in Wales will require a mandatory NHS Covid pass, or a negative Covid-19 test, to attend large-scale events, including concerts, nightclubs and sporting events. The changes came into effect from 7am on Monday 11 October 2021 and apply to anyone over the age of 18.
The move has been hailed by the Labour-led government as a crucial measure needed to keep people safe, especially when cases among young people across Wales continue to remain high.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: ‘‘Cases of [Covid] remain high across Wales and, unfortunately, families across the country are losing loved ones to this awful virus.’’
"The Covid Pass is just one of a series of measures in place to help prevent people spreading and catching Coronavirus while helping to keep the economy open.’’
The move was far from a landslide victory, however, with the plan squeezing through by 28 votes to 27, beating the Tories and Lib Dems.
For that reason, there’s mixed sentiment towards the new scheme. Welsh Conservative shadow health minister Russell George has claimed that: '‘the coercive, ineffective, and anti-business Covid passports will limit our freedoms, fail to limit the spread of Coronavirus according to the Welsh Government’s own scientists, and add additional burdens on already stretched businesses.”
While First Minister Mark Drakeford who fully supports the scheme is determined to take action to reduce Covid cases, arguing that '‘the huge bulk of people will use the lateral flow test in the correct way’’.
The move comes at the same time that the government's handling of the Covid crisis has been deemed as 'one of UK’s worst ever public health failures’, according to a recent Common’s inquiry.
How do I get a Covid pass?
You can prove you have a Covid pass in a number of ways:
- A digital Covid pass that shows proof of vaccination (you need to register via the NHS website, not the NHS app, which can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or computer)
- A paper Covid pass that shows proof of vaccination
- A negative Covid test proven by text or email
- A negative PCR test
When will I need to show a Covid pass?
Anyone aged 18 and over in Wales will need to show a Covid pass, or negative Covid test, when attending:
- Nightclubs and similar venues
- Indoor venues of more than 500 people
- Outdoor venues of more than 4,000 people
- Any event that has more than 10,000 people in the audience
‘Similar venues’ to nightclubs are classed as those that serve alcohol, are open between midnight and 5am and provide music for dancing. Interestingly, it’s up to the venue to decide when they want introduce the measures, whether from when they open their doors or when they open their dancefloor.
Find out what the rules are for England, here.