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Vote due on plans to introduce Covid passes for nightclubs and events in Wales

Senedd members will decide today whether or not to support the Welsh government’s plans to introduce Covid passes for entry to nightclubs and major events.

If passed, the move will mean that from 11 October it will be mandatory for all Welsh nightclubs and events to require people to present a pass to confirm that they have been vaccinated or have received a negative test result.

When it was announced last month, the prime minister said he was introducing the measure to help curb the spread of the coronavirus – as rates hit “very high levels” in the country.

It’s likely that Mark Drakeford will win the vote today, but that’s not a given and depends on how Plaid Cymru decides to vote.

Mark Drakeford will need at least one vote from opposition parties to support the introduction of the Covid passes. Credit: AP Images

Although Labor is by far the largest party in the Senedd, the 60 seats are split evenly with the opposition parties.

The Conservatives and Jane Dodds, the Liberal Democrat MP, will certainly oppose this decision. If Plaid Cymru also said no, the votes would be tied.

In this situation, Llywydd (Chairman) Elin Jones should either support the status quo (i.e. not introduce the regime) or continue the debate.

Plaid Cymru MSs are meeting this morning to decide their position. They have reportedly requested further details from the Welsh government.

However, voting against the project would be a major step for the party, increasing the likelihood that it will abstain, allowing the motion to pass.

The Conservatives have made it clear that they will oppose the plan.

Shadow Minister of Health Russell George MS said his party was “against the introduction of such documentation from the outset, because of the broad ethical, equality, confidentiality, legal and operational ramifications.”

He added: “The timing of its implementation in Wales by ministers is questionable and will come weeks after the peak of the Labor government’s own modeling of the last wave, and around two months after these events resumed. on a large scale at sites across the country.

“And there are many questions about the effectiveness and application of such a measure, particularly with regard to testing, and the impact it will have on businesses, jobs and the economic recovery of the country. Wales.

“For many people across Wales, even those who could support such a restriction, this sadly sounds like another example of Cardiff Bay Labor Ministers closing the stable door after the horse has been bolted. “

If the rules are passed, they would come into effect on Monday, October 11. Credit: AP Images

The only Liberal Democrat in the Senedd is also expected to vote against.

When the plan was announced, Jane Dodds said: “I understand that a lot of people want to get back to a sense of normalcy, but vaccine passports are not the way to do it and we have to be careful of the precedent they set. .

“These are medical ID cards apart from the name and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will lead the fight against their introduction.

“The introduction of the cards would mean that for the first time you will be required to provide your private medical data to a stranger to enjoy certain freedoms in our society, but this will not really help reduce transmission rates.

“Passports for vaccines are a violation of our civil liberties, and they will disproportionately exclude black and ethnic minority communities who have, to date, been more reluctant than others to be vaccinated.”

“Vaccines are certainly our way out of the pandemic, but vaccine passports are not. “

Mark Drakeford has insisted that the Welsh Covid pass system is not a vaccine passport.

He said: “It is clearly not a vaccination passport – you can get a Covid pass without being vaccinated” and this difference avoids “difficult ethical issues” regarding people who cannot be vaccinated for various reasons.

For England, the British government decided not to introduce vaccine passports, but the Prime Minister said they remained an option if the situation worsened.

Passports for vaccines are introduced in Scotland.

Zero Alert Level: Covid Rules Explained in Wales

Starting at 6 a.m. on August 7, there will no longer be any legal limits on the number of people who can meet, including in private homes, public places or at events.

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Which businesses can reopen?

All businesses that are currently still closed will be able to reopen. This includes nightclubs and other entertainment venues.

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What about self-isolation?

From midnight August 7, fully vaccinated adults and children and youth under the age of 18 will no longer need to self-isolate if identified as close contacts of someone with coronavirus.

This was announced by the Prime Minister Last week.

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It is not yet clear whether the “two-meter rule” under which companies are required by law to ensure social distancing in the workplace will be dropped.

Welsh government sources say this is one of the latest details being discussed.

In its announcement, the government says buildings and workplaces will have “more flexibility” in “reasonable measures they take” to minimize the risk of the virus.

“These should be tailored to their risk assessment and their specific circumstances.”

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Richard Dement

The author Richard Dement