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Covid Passes for nightclubs and large events come into force

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Written by: Emma Lunn
15/12/2021
The use of Covid passes was approved in parliament last night (Tuesday) despite a rebellion from 100 Conservative MPs.

From today you need to prove your coronavirus status to enter certain venues and events in England. The move is part of ‘Plan B’ announced by prime minister Boris Johnson last week – implementing the plans depended on the backing of MPs in a vote yesterday.

To be permitted entry to certain places you must have proof that you are vaccinated with two doses of an approved vaccine or have taken a PCR or rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours. You can also get a Covid Pass if you are medically exempt from vaccination or testing on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation.

If you live in England, you can use the NHS Covid Pass to prove your Covid-19 status. The NHS Covid Pass provides valid proof of your Covid-19 status based on your vaccination details, test results, medical exemption or clinical trial participation.

A valid text or email confirmation from NHS Test and Trace can also be used as proof that you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours.

The venue or event is legally obliged to check your Covid-19 status. If you do not meet the requirements, the venue is legally required to deny you entry to the venue or event. This could mean that if you have already paid for ticket, you could lose your money and not be refunded.

What is a Covid Pass?

The NHS Covid Pass lets you share your coronavirus status records or test Covid-19 status in a secure way. You can get an NHS Covid Pass digitally through the NHS App or online via NHS.UK You can also get a letter sent to you in the post.

You’ll need to show a Covid Pass to go to a nightclub, dance hall or disco. The rules also apply to venues opening at any point between 1am and 5am, that serve alcohol after 1am, have a dancefloor (i.e. in a pub), or provide music for dancing.

Venues meeting these criteria must make sure that everyone in the venue from 1am is vaccinated, has completed a recent negative test, or is exempt. Venues can choose how they do this – you may have to prove your Covid-19 status to gain access, even if you enter and leave before 1am.

Other events where you need to show a Covid Pass include indoor events with 500 or more attendees, and outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where people are likely to stand or move around for all or part of the event. All events with 10,000 or more attendees, whether indoor or outdoor (such as large sports and music events) will require a Covid Pass for entry.

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