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NTIA calls Welsh Covid passport vote a ‘shambles’

Published:  06 October, 2021

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) has called the vote on the introduction of Welsh Covid passports a ‘shambles’ and has called for an urgent revote.

A controversial vote on the introduction of the policy saw the proposals passed by one vote with 28 politicians voting for and 27 voting against.

Concern has been raised as one Welsh MP was unable to get online to vote due to technical difficulties.

The Covid passes for nightclubs and large events will be introduced in Wales on Monday, 11 October, following the lead of the Scottish Parliament. Customers will have to show evidence of being fully vaccinated or having a recent negative Covid test.

Industry bodies have already said that the introduction of Covid-19 passports for venues in Wales will be an extra burden that could bring business failures before the end of the year.

The Scottish regulations for passports came into force on Friday 1 October. The Scottish late-night sector also labelled the introduction as a “shambles”. According to the NTIA and some Scottish operators, the first night of the regulations found many customers unable to download the app needed or to show proof of vaccination to enter the premises.

The NTIA Wales Commission said it was an outrage.

“The NTIA has long campaigned against the introduction of Covid Passports due to the operational barriers these measures will cause. We were pleased to see the number of MSs that listened to our concerns today and voted against these proposals,” it said in a statement.

“It is a democratic outrage that one MS who wanted to vote, and who would have voted against the proposals, could not, due to a mere technical error. This shambles will cause even more uncertainty for our businesses.

“There must be an urgent revote so that the will of the Senedd can be fairly expressed and businesses have some clarity about the future.”