The Welsh NHS Covid pass comes into effect on Monday, with over-18s required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test to enter large events and nightclubs, in an effort to protect the health service over winter.
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford stood by the decision to proceed with the introduction of the Covid measure despite concerns from individuals within the nightclub industry that they are being “singled out” by the government.
Speaking as the new scheme comes into effect, Drakeford accepted that it could be “vulnerable to abuse,” with some faking lateral flow test results, but said he hopes citizens will abide by the rules to help the nation recover from the pandemic.
To prevent potential abuses, Wales’ government is looking to pass a law that will make it illegal to fake a Covid test, although Welsh politicians have questioned how such a law would be enforced given that lateral flow tests are self-certified.
Drakeford rejected the opposition from nightclubs, saying that there is a “cost issue” as “nightclubs already have to check people for their age.”
With anyone over 16 able to get fully vaccinated in Wales, the scheme will require all over-18s to show they have been double-jabbed or have tested negative for the virus in the previous 48 hours before entering nightclubs or larger gatherings.
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Wales’ Education Minister Jeremy Miles stated that the country needs the Covid pass scheme to prevent the health service from facing “significant pressure” over the winter, when the UK is expecting to battle the dual threat of the pandemic and the annual flu season.
The scheme was backed by the Welsh parliament, known as the Senedd, last Tuesday, passing into law by a one-vote majority after a Conservative Party politician was unable to participate as they were attending the Tory conference in Manchester.
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