Mark Drakeford has been facing the Senedd this afternoon for First Minister’s Questions.

Here’s a round-up of the day’s news:

Vaccine app delayed in Wales ‘and won’t be available in Welsh’

An app that proves someone has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is delayed in Wales because of “technical reasons” over the border, the first minister has said.

Since May 17, people in England can get a digital NHS Covid Pass once they’ve had both jabs, but despite assurances the scheme would be available on the health service’s app in Wales four weeks later, there is no sign of it.

Caerphilly MS Hefin David said a constituent had complained the current Welsh system – requiring people to apply in writing or by phone for a certificate – was “archaic and slow”.

Drakeford challenged this description but admitted the app scheme was delayed in Wales “despite repeated requests to the UK government”.

People in Wales should be able to access an NHS Covid Pass, via a website, “within the next few days,” he added.

However, the England-based app won’t be available here in the Welsh language “for several more months”.

No plans for local lockdowns despite regional spikes

The government’s policy for one Wales-wide approach to coronavirus restrictions is still “preferable,” Drakeford told the Senedd, despite significant differences in infection rates across the nation.

South Wales East MS Natasha Asghar highlighted “regional disparities” in case rates, from 91.3 per 100,000 people in Conwy to 6.6 cases per 100,000 people in Merthyr Tydfil.

Drakeford said it was “very clear” the north of Wales had been “particularly exposed to the very large circulation of the virus in the north-west of England”.

But, while scientists continued to study the Delta variant’s impact on hospitalisations, “we don't see the need currently to have a different level of restriction in any part of Wales”.

Drakeford won't press the Dutch to let in Welsh fans

Opposition leader Andrew RT Davies said the national team could be disadvantaged at Saturday’s Euro 2020 match in Holland because the Dutch government has banned Welsh fans from travelling to Amsterdam, but fans of opponents Denmark could attend.

Fans are “classed as the twelfth man…helping their team on to victory,” he said, before asking the first minister if he would ask the Dutch authorities to allow Welsh supporters to travel.

Danish fans are being given a 12-hour window to attend the match, and coronavirus case rates in Wales and Denmark were similar, he added.

Drakeford said “this is not the year to travel to watch Wales play abroad” and urged fans to “stay in Wales and support the team from here”.

‘Only fair’ that visitors to hotspots pay tourism tax

If holiday-makers paid a “small contribution” to the budgets of the council area they were visiting, they would be making an “investment in the future success” of Welsh tourism, according to the first minister.

The government is considering whether to give councils powers to enforce a tourism tax for visitors to their regions.

Mid and West Wales MS Joyce Watson said councils “bear the brunt” of tourism-related costs such as rubbish collections and maintaining public toilets and car parks.

“I think it's only fair that they should be able to ask those who can afford to holiday in our beautiful region to pay just a little extra,” she told the first minister.

But North Wales MS Sam Rowlands told Drakeford a tourism tax could have the consequences of making the Welsh tourism industry “less competitive” and Wales “seem more expensive”.

‘Serious response’ needed for young people’s mental health concerns

Too many children and young people are waiting more than four weeks for an appointment with specialist mental health services (CAMHS), Plaid Cymru’s Rhun ap Iorwerth told the first minister.

Drakeford said he agreed the pandemic had impacted on young people’s health and wellbeing but services had been affected by coronavirus.

But the Ynys Mon MS said this “isn’t a new problem,” quoting 2019 figures that showed nearly half of young people referred to CAMHS waited longer than four weeks.

The first minister said CAMHS had improved waiting times in the two years before the pandemic, and that part of the problem was making sure people referred to CAMHS were suitable candidates.

“The service is working very hard to try and find creative ways in which it can go on providing a timely service for those young people who need it,” he added.

Government won’t force Cardiff council into Castle Street U-turn

The “very difficult” choice to reopen a main road in Cardiff to vehicles will improve air quality in other parts of the capital, Drakeford said.

Castle Street was pedestrianised during most of the past year, in a £19 million government-funded scheme, but the first minister said it had the knock-on effect of diverting traffic and congestion to residential areas.

South Wales Central MS Rhys ab Owen said the “disappointing” decision to reopen the road to cars should be reconsidered.

But Drakeford said traffic in Castle Street would now be limited to two lanes with more space for buses and cyclists.

“Until we are able to do longer term things to reduce the use of cars altogether, it is a balance that is entirely defensible,” he added.

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