Covid passports for Wales will be the ‘last straw’ for operators

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Legislation change: 'Welsh brewers and pubs are at a critical stage in their recovery' says Welsh Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin
Legislation change: 'Welsh brewers and pubs are at a critical stage in their recovery' says Welsh Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin

Related tags: Passport, Legislation, Wales

Covid-19 vaccination passports for late night venues in Wales is an “extra burden” that could be the “last straw” for struggling operators.

Last week, the Welsh Government revealed that after a review it would be implementing the requirement to show an NHS Covid Pass from 11 October 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 and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

This comes as health secretary Sajid Javid recently revealed the Government is now scrapping plans for Covid vaccine​ passports for entry into nightclubs and large events in England.

In Scotland customers will have to prove vaccinations to enter nightclub​s and large events from 1 October. 

The Welsh First Minister has encouraged everyone to work from home whenever possible and to make sure they are fully vaccinated.

Further lockdowns

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again. That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.” 

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a Covid Pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.”

However, UKHospitality executive director for Wales, David Chapman, said the news that Covid passports are to be required for entry into Welsh nightclubs and some large events from 11 October is “incredibly disappointing”. 

“This decision comes despite several weeks of meetings in which UKHospitality 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. 

Fragile state

He continued: “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.”

Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the Welsh Beer & Pub Association, said: “Welsh brewers and pubs are at a critical stage in their recovery, so an early indication that Covid certification will not apply to pubs is vital. Layering restrictions back on could mean businesses not surviving to the end of the year, resulting in the loss of jobs, homes and the heart of communities.

“Our sector already implements the highest standards in Health & Safety and hygiene. We remain committed to working with the Welsh Government to limit the spread of the virus, whilst allowing the hospitality sector to trade viably.”

The Night Time Industries Association CYMRU Commission also raised concerns.

In a statement, it said: "First and foremost we would like to reinforce our commitment to keeping staff and the public safe within the night time economy in Wales. We are disappointed the Welsh Government has felt it must mandate Covid passports at this stage, albeit a more liberal implementation with the inclusion of testing.

"We still feel that these measures will have a negative impact on businesses, and will create considerable market distortion. Over the coming weeks we will have the opportunity to discuss the details further and assess the challenges for our sector." 

 

Related topics: Legislation

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