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17 Sep, 2021 14:22

Wales to impose mandatory vaccine certificates for nightclubs and large events from October

Wales to impose mandatory vaccine certificates for nightclubs and large events from October

The Welsh government announced on Friday that, from 11 October, over-18s will be required to prove they have been fully vaccinated against Covid or tested negative in the past 48 hours to enter clubs or large events.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford stated that the requirement to show an NHS Covid pass to enter these venues was needed because “coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels,” resulting in more people “dying from this terrible virus.”

“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,” Drakeford said in his announcement.

The vaccine certificate mandate will apply to nightclubs, indoor non-seated events that have more than 500 people, outdoor non-seated events with attendance of more than 4,000 and any event with an audience over 10,000.

The measure comes despite warnings from the Night Time Industries Association that the Covid restriction will have a “hugely detrimental impact on trade,” potentially resulting in customers leaving Wales to visit businesses in England.

In a letter, the trade group cautioned that “any implementation of vaccine certification will be inevitably arbitrary,” as Welsh officials have failed to outline the criteria required to identify impacted businesses. 

Alongside the need to show a Covid pass, the Welsh government urged people to work from home if they can and stated that enforcement of social distancing measures, including the need to wear face coverings in public places and on public transport, would be stepped up.

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Wales saw a rise in Covid infections since the start of August, and has a rate of 494.3 cases per 100,000, compared with neighbouring England’s rate of 347.9 cases per 100,000.

The decision to implement a vaccine passport scheme in Wales comes after England scrapped similar plans, with the UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid claiming the government “shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it.” Scotland is set to require proof of vaccination for entry into nightclubs and large events from October 1.

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