Wales’ New Restrictions UPDATED

Updated 22nd December

Groups of no more than six people will be allowed to meet in pubs, cinemas and restaurants in Wales from 26 December, the first minister has said.

These are Alert Level 2 restrictions which Mr Drakeford announced at today’s meeting.

There will be two metre social distancing rules to return in public places.

Now a 50 person limit to outdoor events. 30 person for indoors. Spectators at community sports matches will also be limited to 50 people.

Close contacts of people who have COVID will no-longer have to self-isolate provided they have been fully-vaccinated.

They will now have to take a lateral-flow test instead.

Wales has not gone as far as England, where people with COVID will now have to self-isolate for seven days instead of 10, providing they have a negative test result.

As of November 15th 2021, the Welsh government have updated regulations on which venues are mandated to check COVID passes. A range of venues will require to check the COVID status of their customers and guests.

The venues which these rules apply to include:

  • Nightclubs
  • Cinemas, theatres and concert halls
  • Indoor no-seating events with more than 500 people
  • Outdoor no-seating events with more than 4,000 people
  • Any event with more than 10,000 people, including sport

The rules apply to anyone over the age of 18. The new rules were fraught with controversy after the vote was only tipped to the majority by a count of one. A Conservative member who missed the important vote said he would have voted against. He blamed the Welsh Parliament’s remote voting system which he was unable to access. In light of this, there have been calls for a revote, however these have been quashed.

How to get a COVID pass for nightclubs

COVID passes are now available to everyone. For all those in Wales, you can prove you are vaccinated on the NHS Wales site and receive a digital pass. Customers should be directed to this site. Certification is also available on the NHS app.

In Wales, a lateral flow test 48 hours prior will also be acceptable as proof of entry. This is different to Scotland where COVID passports are the only acceptable certification.

Reaction to Wales COVID pass rules

It’s clear that both clubbers and venue owners have been torn about the new rule introduction.

The benefits of the reduction of the spread of the virus have been the main argument in favour of the rule change:

However many have been quick to point out that Scotland is the only country in Europe demanding vaccine passports exclusively

The disparity in the reaction was clear. Many nightclub owners believe they have been singled out once again.

However Mark Drayford, First Minister, has said the measures will help venues stay open and “protect them.”

Many business owners are having to cancel events. Halloween is a big part of the year for these clubs, as is the student return. COVID passports will definitely dampen and cut the customer base.

What’s next for nightclubs and COVID passports

Northern Ireland have announced they will reopen nightlife venues for Halloween. Dancing will be allowed indoors on October 31st. Previously Northern Ireland venues have been closed, however the announcement this week means they will be allowed to open for one night only. They stress the need to maintain social distancing in hospitality settings, such as pubs and restaurants will move to guidance. Whilst the legal requirement for social distancing will now be removed, people are asked to keep close face-to-face contact to a minimum at all times.

For those in England, the question on everyone’s lips, will new rules be implemented and will English nightclubs be next?