Covid passes have now been extended to three more venues, but could also be extended to hospatility

Covid passes could be extended to hospitality says Economy Minister

Senedd Members voted to extend passes to cinemas, theatres, and concert halls

COVID passes could be extended to hospitality businesses, the Economy Minister Vaughan Gething has warned.

The Welsh Government cabinet will meet later this week to discuss if there is a need to extend Covid passes to the hospitality sector.

In a press conference today, he said: “We are still having those discussions around the use of Covid passes to give another measure of defence against tighter restrictions that would have a serious effect on jobs and businesses.

“Those discussions are ongoing, and the Cabinet will discuss them again later this week.”

Although he also said there was a “serious worry” that pressure could increase on the NHS if cases continue to rise, the minister confirmed that Christmas will be much better this year.

“The vaccination programme has given massive support in allowing us to have a range of services and businesses open,” he said.

Tony Hynds, from Cardiff, backed the idea of extending the pass to hospitality. He said: “I think it’s a good idea yes, if you have it anywhere then you have to have it everywhere.

“But staff shortages will make it hard. It was easier during the lockdown with booking tables and wearing masks.”

Max Dedominicis, 31 said: “Extending it would increase staff shortages. Places I’ve been to have closed or had various opening hours because they have no staff.”

Covid passes were extended to cinemas, theatres and concert halls last week.

People now need a Covid pass to enter these venues, along with nightclubs, unseated indoor or outdoor venues with more than 500 people and events with more than 10,000 people.

Venues will ask for your Covid pass or proof of a negative lateral flow test on entry into the venue. The test must be taken within 48 hours of the event or venue you are attending. Identification will also be needed if you present a negative lateral flow test.

Letty Street resident, Emyr Waters, thinks extending passes is a good idea.

“If the vaccine works as it should, having venues with only vaccinated people lowers the transmission rates,” he said. “You know everyone there will be fully vaccinated or had a negative lateral flow test.”

Theatres such as The Wales Millennium Centre have put extra measures in place to increase safety.

Wearing masks is still a requirement unless you are medically exempt and physically distanced seating is available for some performances in the venue.

The Motorpoint arena also requires its customers to wear masks. Covid passes were introduced on October 11 and require anyone over the age of 18 to show their pass or proof of a negative Covid test.

Dewi Morris, 21, feels safer going to nightclubs and sports events since the introduction of passes.

He said: “I feel like there’s less of a chance that I’ll catch Covid because of the covid pass scheme.

“I’ve been on a lot of nights out and went to the Wales game against Fiji feeling more relaxed knowing that the safety measures had been put in place alongside Covid passes.”

However, not everyone is happy with the decision to extend the use of Covid passes.

A Cardiff resident, who wanted to remain anonymous as they don’t want people to know they oppose passes said: “I don’t think it’s fair that those who have chosen not to get vaccinated are being excluded.

“It’s a choice and those who choose not to get the vaccine are having their freedom stripped away from them.”

Anti-covid pass protests have been taking place across Cardiff, with the most recent in the city centre before the Wales v Australia game.

Anti-Covid pass protest that took place in Cardiff before the Wales game against Australia

Protestors were holding posters that said: “No to mandatory vaccines. Where there is risk there must be choice.”

Another poster said: “Children don’t die of Covid.”

If you want to get your Covid pass or need to renew it, you can do so on the Welsh Government website.