Published on : Monday, October 11, 2021
Wales has decided that all people will now need an NHS Covid pass to be able to legally attend big events or nightclubs. The passes will be compulsory for individuals over 18 years old and show people have either tested negative on a lateral flow test or are fully vaccinated against Covid.
Wales’ rugby game against New Zealand on October 30 will be one of the first mass events to require Covid passes.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said the new scheme is “vulnerable to abuse” but the “huge bulk of people” will follow the new rules. He said that he is sure the huge bulk of people will use the lateral flow test in the correct way.
He also rejected claims the new Covid pass was a financial burden for businesses mentioning nightclubs already have to check people for their age. He mentioned that the cost issue is not a very significant in the situation. Welsh Education Minister Jeremy Miles said in a statement that public services were expected to face “significant pressure” this winter, and the pass would cut transmission of the virus.
The Senedd voted on the passes last Tuesday – a vote the Welsh government said will not be held again, despite it passing by just one vote. Anyone who is over 16 and has been fully vaccinated in Wales or England, or has had a negative lateral flow test result within the past 48 hours, can get a pass.
The passes are compulsory for anyone over 18 to enter nightclubs, indoor no-seating events with more than 500 people, outdoor no-seating events with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people, including sports.
Negative tests will be self-certified but the Welsh government plans to make it illegal to fake a negative test.
Large events could also be allowed to check passes at random, rather than check every person who attends. The NHS Covid Pass is available digitally but you need to register for an NHS login via the website. People will need to upload a photo of their ID either a passport, full UK driving licence or full European driving licence.
This will allow them to produce a Covid pass using a smart phone, computer or laptop. The NHS Covid Pass includes a barcode and the expiry date refers to the barcode and will update automatically. It does not apply to the vaccination status.
In Wales, people cannot get the pass via the NHS app, as it is only valid in England.
In France, people have had to prove they are fully vaccinated, have recently tested negative or recently recovered from Covid with a “health pass” that must be produced on entering cafes, restaurants or public transport. Scotland is the only other UK nation to use them after they were introduced on 1 October.