Covid passes have been extended to cinemas, theaters and concert halls in Wales.
The new rule takes effect from Monday.
People in Wales already required an NHS Covid pass to legally enter nightclubs and large events.
Anyone over 18 years of age must show the pass to show that they are fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test in the last 48 hours.
So how do you get a Covid pass, how will they work, and how does Wales compare to the rest of the UK?
When should I show my pass?
Anyone who is over the age of 16 and has been fully vaccinated in Wales or England, or has had a negative lateral flow test in the previous 48 hours, can get a pass.
However, they are only mandatory for anyone over 18 years of age:
- Cinemas, theaters and concert halls
- Nightclubs or similar venues
- Indoor events without seats with more than 500 people
- Open-air events without seats with more than 4,000 people
- Any event with more than 10,000 people, including sporting events.
Passes are also a way to show that you do not need to isolate yourself, if you have been identified as a close contact from a positive Covid case and can be used when traveling abroad.
What is classified as a nightclub?
The Welsh government says any venue that can serve alcohol is open between midnight and 5 a.m. and where dancing music is provided you’ll need to check for passes.
That means it could cover other venues that are not traditionally considered late-licensed nightclubs.
Venues can apply pass rules from the moment they open their doors or when they open their dance floor.
How do I get an NHS Covid pass?
You will need to upload a photo of your ID (passport, full UK driving license, full European driving license).
This will allow you to produce a Covid pass using a smartphone, computer, or laptop.
Your NHS Covid Pass includes a barcode. The expiration date refers to the barcode and will be updated automatically. It does not apply to your vaccination status.
It is worth noting that in Wales, you cannot get the pass through the NHS app as it is only valid in England. This is also different from NHS Covid-19 application which alerts you if you have been around someone with the virus.
If you do not have a photo ID, you will need to request a paper NHS Covid certificate.
Call 0300 303 5667 to get a printed copy at least five days after your final dose.
What if people try to use a fake Covid pass or lateral flow test?
It is an offense to deliberately use a fake Covid pass or produce a false lateral flow test (LFT).
People caught using fake LFTs or a fake Covid pass could receive a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £ 60.
This can be reduced to £ 30 if paid within 14 days, but if it is not a first offense the FPN would double to £ 120.
If there is any doubt as to whether the documents are real, the Welsh government said a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) should be contacted.
If venues don’t follow the rules, they could face an upgrade or closure notice, FPN, or a fine of up to £ 10,000.
How will the Covid passes work?
The passes have been freely available for some time and venues could already read them with existing technology.
But if they don’t have the verification app, they can judge them with the naked eye.
Festivals, like Green Man in the Brecon Beacons, have already been using the system.
Welsh Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said: “These measures are examples of what Sage [the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies] it calls low-cost interventions, which may be enough to avoid the need for more stringent restrictions in the future. “
Who will check that venues request Covid passes?
The council’s enforcement teams will work with companies to verify that they are following the rules.
What if my GP is in England?
For those who live close to the border, your GP may be in England.
In that case, you may need to use the NHS App System for England.
What other passport or Covid certificate schemes exist outside of Wales?
Since October 1, people in Scotland need a Covid vaccination certificate to enter nightclubs, adult entertainment venues and large-scale events.
The UK government decided not to go ahead with vaccine passports in England, despite saying they would be introduced at the end of September.
But they could be considered again later, if there is an increase in Covid during the winter.
Northern Ireland has yet to announce whether it will introduce a similar scheme.
What happens when people travel from England for big events like rugby matches?
The rules also apply to those coming to Wales. The idea is that the visiting teams inform the fans.
There may be some flexibility in the controls to avoid long lines outside the stadiums.
But venues must be ready to work with police and city councils to decide when it is reasonable to relax controls.
I have my pass, but why does it show an expiration date?
It renews for 30 days every time you download it.
And my rights?
This has been a complicated issue that the cabinet has been grappling with, having met four times to debate the issue.
The prime minister said they were “well aware” of the implications for civil liberties and that they were giving relevant sectors time to prepare before the passes were introduced on October 11.
However, he added that people also have the right to live in a society in which everyone takes “reasonable steps” to protect each other.
The Welsh government also hopes that the introduction of Covid passes will improve vaccination rates, particularly among the very young.
Jodie Beck of the human rights group Liberty said: “While we welcome the decision not to exclude those who have not received the vaccine from attending major events, the introduction of a vaccine pass in Wales continues to set a dangerous precedent. .
“Vaccine passports under any name mean more coercion and division, and run the risk of creating a two-tier society where people who are already marginalized will see their rights and autonomy most affected.”
There are exceptions?
Generally not. The Welsh government wanted to avoid excluding those who have not had, or have been able to have, a vaccine by including those with a recent negative test.
However, workers, performers, etc., will not require a pass, as there are already rules for employers to protect workers.
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