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Everything we know about the NHS Covid pass which will be mandatory for nightclubs and events in Wales


Prime Minister Mark Drakeford has announced his intention to create a Covid Pass in Wales.

Those over 18 will need to present one of these passes to access many events and venues from October 11 in Wales.

The new system will mean extra work for the public and businesses, especially early on, so WalesOnline has put together a guide to everything we know so far about the Wales Covid pass.

Read more: See the latest news and updates on the coronavirus in Wales here

What events and locations will you need to show a Covid pass at?

You will need an NHS pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor and non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor events without seating for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people present

Who must present a Covid pass?

Anyone 18 years of age or older will be required to present a Covid pass when entering these places and events. The reason the Welsh government has not enforced the rules on younger people is that they haven’t had that long to get their double shot.

What should my Covid pass indicate?

For your pass to be approved, it must show that you had two vaccinations or had a lateral flow test within the past 48 hours.

The Welsh government has said the reason it added the side flow option is because some people cannot get the vaccine for medical reasons.

When do they come in?

The obligation to present an NHS Covid Pass will take effect from October 11.

How to download a Covid pass?

You can access the NHS Covid Pass through the NHS website here. This will allow you to produce a COVID pass using a smartphone, computer or laptop.

To access the service, you will need to sign up for an NHS connection. You will need to upload a photo of your ID (passport, full UK driving license, full EU driving license).

If you live in Wales you cannot get it through the NHS app as it is only valid in England. This means that it is only available through the website and you will receive a code which you scan or download in pdf format.

If you don’t have photo ID, you’ll need to apply for an NHS COVID paper certificate.

Your NHS Covid Pass includes a barcode. The expiration date refers to the barcode and will be updated automatically. It does not apply to your vaccination status.

You can find the full explanation here.

Will this apply to away football fans in Cardiff City and Swansea games?

Yes. If you are attending events in Wales you must follow these rules.

Are there checks that people correctly record lateral flow tests?

One of the criticisms of the new regime is that there is very little oversight. To record a lateral flow test, people simply scan a QR code. They don’t even have to take the test.

When WalesOnline challenged Mark Drakeford over it, he said he would consider passing legislation making it illegal to manufacture a test result.

“Am I concerned that there may be misuse of lateral flow testing?” He said. “Of course, we are right to be concerned.

“But I am relying on the fact that for the long history of the coronavirus in Wales the vast majority of people are people who want to help, who want to do the right thing and want to be sure that they are playing their part to ensure their security and other people safe too.

“We will be examining over the next few days whether or not to introduce a specific offense of knowingly and willfully falsifying a Covid Pass.

“So if there are people who think it’s just an easy race and they can just invent results, then they care about the big consequences for them.”

Why are they introducing these rules?

The Welsh government fears mass rallies will continue to foster the infection and hopes this will add further protection against the virus.

There is also a secondary hope that it will lead people to get vaccinated, although the effectiveness of this will be uncertain given that you do not need to be vaccinated to receive a Covid pass.

What are other counties in the UK doing?

The rules are different from those in Scotland, where people over 18 will need to prove that they have received both doses of the vaccine before they are allowed to enter certain places and events.

In England there are no mandatory event passes, but until recently the UK government has said it plans to have them.

Are people already using them?

Yes. The infrastructure is already in place and used in many places in Wales. The passes were required for the Green Man Festival and will also be used at the Manic Street Preachers concert.

Is it a vaccination passport?

Asked about it at yesterday’s press conference, Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said these were not vaccine passports because you didn’t need to be vaccinated to use one.

For our daily Wales Matters briefing on the biggest issues affecting Wales click here


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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement