Covid passes: Scheme extended to enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls in Wales

NHS Covid passes will be needed to enter cinemas from November 15. Credit: PA

NHS Covid passes will now be needed to enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls in Wales.

The extension of the scheme is one of a number of measures to be strengthened in response to a high level of the virus across the country.

The Welsh Government said the guidance on self-isolation had also been changed and people are being encouraged to work from home to help bring the Covid-19 under control.

The extension of the pass for the over-18s was approved by the Senedd in a vote last week.

The managing director of the Wales Millennium Centre said the new changes will have an impact on the venue, cost and time wise.

Mathew Milsom from the Wales Millennium Centre said the venue has had to do a lot of additional preparation to ensure patrons are Covid secure and all Covid passes are checked.

Mr Milsom said, "There is another layer of checking now that we need to undertake and that does come with extra cost and time.

"We are asking patrons to arrive at least half an hour earlier than they ordinarily would, but if it gives another layer of confidence to our audience then that should be helpful.

"Of course, from an operational perspective, it does have an impact and we will just have to manage that impact."

  • The Economy Minister explains the reasons behind the second roll-out stages of the Covid pass.

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething told ITV Wales the public have reacted well to the first stage of the Covid pass being introduced.

He added, "I think there is an understanding this is one more measure to keep as many businesses and events as open as possible.

"It's simple to use, easy to download and the great majority of people are using it without concern.

"One more measure to help manage the risk of coronavirus because I'm afraid it hasn't gone away."

A premises could be issued with an improvement notice or closure notice if they fail to abide by the scheme Credit: PA

Dawn Bowden, deputy minister for arts and sport, said: “Cases of coronavirus in Wales are very high at the moment and we all need to work together to bring them under control.

“Extending the use of the Covid Pass to cinemas, theatres and concert halls is another way we can strengthen the measures we have in place to keep us all safe.

“I understand the challenges this sector has faced during the pandemic – this will help keep these businesses open during the difficult autumn and winter months ahead.

“We want to do everything we can to keep Wales open and to keep Wales safe and to give people the confidence to return to these venues.”

The NHS Covid Pass was introduced a month ago for entry to nightclubs and larger indoor and outdoor events despite opposition from the Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.

People can also show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

But those who fake a coronavirus test result or vaccination status will be committing a criminal offence and face a fixed penalty notice.

Health minister Eluned Morgan added: “The feedback we have had suggests the system is working well. We will continue to work with the sectors introducing the pass to support them.”

Workplaces are required by law to undertake Covid risk assessments, and to put reasonable measures in place to ensure staff safety.

The Welsh Government will use the current enforcement regimes for monitoring compliance.

A premises could be issued with an improvement notice or closure notice, while a fixed penalty notice and a maximum fine for businesses of £10,000 can be issued.