Covid passes will still need to be used in Wales for at least three weeks but the Welsh Government will seriously consider their future at the next lockdown review, First Minister Mark Drakeford has said.
Boris Johnson announced earlier this week that mandatory Covid passports for entering nightclubs and large events in England would end next week, though organisations could choose to use the NHS Covid pass if they wanted.
Speaking at Friday’s Welsh Government coronavirus briefing First Minister Mark Drakeford accused the Westminster Government of making decisions about easing restrictions not on the basis of public health but to divert attention from Boris Johnson and the Downing Street “partygate” scandal.
He said the advice the Welsh Government had was to ease restrictions in stages. The Welsh Government will review restrictions, including the Covid Pass on February 10, which comes before Wales’ first Six Nations match in Cardiff on February 12 against Scotland.
Mr Drakeford said that if infection rates continued to fall, that would be “an active debate” but warned that there was no certainty that the recent falls would be continued.
In answer to a question about when Covid passes will cease in Wales at today’s briefing the First Minister added: “We will definitely review it as part of our review on the 10th of February. So it will be on the table together with other remaining measures at alert level zero.
“Three weeks is a very long time and when you’re dealing with coronavirus. If things continued to improve [and] we have seen them improve in the last week, then they would be an active debate about whether or not the Covid Pass was still a proportionate part of the measures that we would want to have in place.
“But none of us can be certain that the very rapid falls of this week will continue over the next three weeks. So we will do what we always do. We will look at the measures. We will ask for advice.
“Is the Covid Pass still a necessary and important part of our defences? If the answer is yes, we will continue with it. If the answer is things have improved to the point where it’s no longer a necessary part of those measures, then we’ll respond to that advice as well.”
Until the advice changes if you want to attend certain venues and events in Wales you must show your NHS Covid Pass to prove that you are either fully vaccinated or have tested negative on a lateral flow test. It applies if you are aged 18 and over and are attending:
- large events, cinemas, theatres and concert halls
- unseated indoor venues with more than 500 people in the audience
- any outdoor or indoor unseated venues with a capacity over 4,000
- any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance
It will mean the Covid Pass will still need to be used at sporting events including the Six Nations.
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