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Wales extends Covid passes to cinemas, concerts and theatres

Written by: Emma Lunn
The passes are already used for entry to nightclubs, large events, and sports venues in Wales, but high infection rates in the country mean ministers are increasing their use.

The new rules will be brought in from 15 November. Covid passes will be necessary to enter cinemas, concerts and theatres as the Welsh government says these are settings where large numbers of people gather indoors, close to each other, for long periods at a time.

A Covid pass shows whether someone has been fully vaccinated or whether they have had a negative lateral flow test in the past 48 hours. Pubs, restaurants and cafes might also require passes in the future if infections continue to increase – coronavirus rates in Wales are currently the highest in the UK.

Mark Drakeford, Wales’ first minister, said: “Over the past three weeks, coronavirus cases have risen sharply to the highest rates we have seen since the pandemic began and more people are falling so seriously ill that they need hospital treatment.

“All this means that the pandemic is far from over. We need to take more action now to strengthen the measures we have in place at alert level zero to prevent coronavirus spreading even further and more people falling seriously ill.

“We hope this action will help to turn the tide of this delta. None of us wants to see a return to restrictions but if rates continue to rise, the cabinet will have no choice but to consider raising the alert level at the next review.”

As well as extending use of Covid passes, Drakeford confirmed that some extra measures will be taken to protect people’s health.

Adults who are fully vaccinated and children and young people aged five to 17 will be asked to self-isolate until they have received a negative PCR test if someone in their household has symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19.

People who are not vaccinated will still have to self-isolate for 10 days following contact with someone who has tested positive, including close contacts outside of their household.

Head teachers will be given extra support to quickly put measures in place in their schools if case rates are high locally. Staff and secondary school students will also be encouraged to take twice-weekly lateral flow tests to help keep coronavirus out of schools.

The Welsh Government continues to encourage everyone to work from home wherever possible. It is still a legal requirement to wear a face covering in indoor public places in Wales.

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