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Covid passports ‘the last straw’ for Welsh nightclubs

A trade body has slammed the Welsh government’s decision to require Covid-19 vaccine passports for entry into the country’s nightclubs.

Vaccine passports will be required for nightclub entry in Wales from next month

Last Friday (17 September), first minister Mark Drakeford confirmed vaccine passports would be introduced from 11 October.

People in Wales will have to show an NHS Covid Pass to prove their vaccination status before entering nightclubs, non-seated indoor events with more than 500 guests, non-seated outdoor events with more than 4,000 guests, or events of any kind with more than 10,000 guests.

Alternatively, people will be able to gain entry by showing a negative test result within the NHS pass.

Similar requirements will be implemented in Scotland from 1 October. England does not currently have plans to introduce such measures, but is keeping the strategy “in reserve” for the winter months, according to UK health minister Sajid Javid.

David Chapman, UK Hospitality executive director for Wales, called the Welsh government’s decision “incredibly disappointing”. The trade body has repeatedly hit out at plans to implement Covid passports.

“This decision comes despite several weeks of meetings in which UK Hospitality Cymru has repeatedly made the case against vaccine passports because of compliance difficulties over definitions of business, concerns over conflicts with customers and a range of other implementational problems, all while the industry struggles to maintain viability and is trying to cope with desperate short staffing,” Chapman said.

“Those affected businesses, already in a fragile state following repeated lockdowns and periods of onerous trading restrictions, now find themselves facing further economic and resourcing pressures. It is likely that this extra burden will prove the last straw for some operators, who will be forced to finally close, resulting in job losses.

“UK Hospitality Cymru will continue to work with Welsh government to avoid the worst effects of this policy, so our members can continue to work towards recovery.”

Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the UK hospitality sector, costing it £100.2 billion (US$140bn) in trading since the start of the pandemic.

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