As of today, October 11th, a new law comes into place across Wales. A range of venues will require to check the COVID status of their customers and guests. This comes after the Welsh Government voted in favour of introducing the COVID pass last week.
The venues which these new rules apply to include:
- 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?