Vaccine passes will be needed in Wales to enter nightclubs and events from next month.

First minister Mark Drakeford confirmed the changes at a Covid briefing in Cardiff this afternoon.

But how will it work and how does Wales' approach compare with the one taken across the border in England and elsewhere?

What has Mark Drakeford said?

In announcing the measure, Mr Drakeford said: “Across Wales, coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels over the summer as more people have been gathering and meeting.

"Tragically, more people are dying from this terrible virus.

“The very strong advice we have from our scientific advisers is to take early action to prevent infections increasing further.

“The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again.

"That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.

“My message to you today is a simple but serious one – the pandemic is not over and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

"We have high levels of the virus in our communities and while our fantastic vaccination programme has helped stop thousands more people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is increasing.

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a Covid pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

“Showing a Covid Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it.

“We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.

“We want to do everything we can to Keep Wales Safe as we head into the autumn.”

When and where will an NHS Covid Pass be needed in Wales?

The requirement to show an NHS Covid Pass will come into force from October 11.

All over-18s will need to have a NHS Covid Pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

The definition of what a nightclub is will need clarifying between now and October 11.

How can you get a Covid pass?

People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS Covid Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status.

It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

How is this different to the rules in England?

The latest decision by the Welsh Government creates a further divergence between Wales and England.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that vaccine passports were not needed yet in England, but he did hint they could feature further down the line.

Mr Johnson discussed the issue of vaccine passports and further restrictions, saying they were not necessary yet, but would be kept on the table as a "plan B".

He said: "We will keep further measures in reserve. That is Plan B.

"We do not see the need right now to proceed with mandatory vaccine certification but will continue to work with the many businesses that are getting ready for such a scheme.

"More than 200 events have already used it voluntarily. It is not sensible to rule out this option now.

"It might still make the difference. We will also keep open the option of mandating face coverings. Small measures can make a big difference.

"It gives us the confidence that we do not need to go back to the lockdowns of the past."

Where else are passes being used?

In Scotland, Covid vaccination certificates will be introduced from October 1.

People in Scotland over the age of 18 will need to show they are fully vaccinated before they are allowed entry to nightclubs and comparable venues; adult entertainment venues; unseated indoor live events for more than 500 people; unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people; and any event for more than 10,000 people.

In France, the Covid immunity pass — a digital or paper certificate that contains proof of vaccination, of immunity or of a negative test — is needed to get into cafés, bars, restaurants, hospitals, museums, galleries, and on trains, planes and coaches. 

In the US, a number of venues are requiring vaccine certification to gain entry.

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