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NTIA calls for Welsh Parliament revote on Covid passport implementation

by Chris Barrett

After yesterday’s 28 to 27 vote by the Welsh parliament in favour of the introduction of a Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and live events venues, the NTIA Wales Commission said it was outraged a Tory member in Senedd, who was set to vote against the move, was denied a vote by the Speaker due to a technical error.

The Labour-led Welsh government has suggested the use of a Covid Pass at events will help drive down concerning rises in Covid-19 infection rates in the country.

The vote means ticket holders for large-scale events and nightclubs in the country will be required to show an NHS Covid Pass proving they have been fully vaccinated or had a negative Covid test to gain entry to venues from 11 October.

All over-18s in Wales will need to have an NHS Covid Pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

The move follows the Scottish Government’s implementation of a similar vaccine passports scheme, and the news that vaccine passports could be introduced in England at just one week’s notice should Covid cases spike in the autumn or winter.

NTIA Wales Commission said in a statement, “The NTIA has long campaigned against the introduction of Covid Passports due to the operational barriers these measures will cause. We were pleased to see the number of MSs that listened to our concerns today and voted against these proposals.

“It is a democratic outrage that one MS who wanted to vote, and who would have voted against the proposals, could not, due to a mere technical error. This shambles will cause even more uncertainty for our businesses.

“There must be an urgent revote so that the will of the Senedd can be fairly expressed and businesses have some clarity about the future.”

When announcing the scheme, first minister Mark Drakeford said, “We hope introducing the requirement to show a CovidPass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

“Showing a Covid Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it. We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.”

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