Extending the use of Covid passports in Wales will be considered as part of latest three week review
The use of Covid passes to enter a wider range of venues will be considered by Ministers in Wales this week as part of the latest review.
The law around Coronavirus restrictions in Wales requires a review to be undertaken by the Welsh Government every three weeks, the previous review was due by 8 October.
People in Wales already need to show a Covid pass or demonstrate their Covid status to enter venues such as nightclubs and large events. That could be extended to venues such as pubs and restaurants.
Ministers will also look at what can be done to encourage more people to work from home and how to get more people wearing masks in indoor spaces such as supermarkets.
Coronavirus cases continue to rise in many parts of Wales, Health Minister Eluned Morgan said she was ‘hugely’ concerned at the growing number of cases within the community and the “impact” Covid is having “on every aspect of our lives.”
Speaking to BBC Politics Wales on Sunday she said: “People are having to take time off to deal with Coronavirus because they may get sick.”
“It’s putting pressure on our health service because some of the staff are also suffering, also, of course, it is leading to hospitalisations.
“Not nearly as much as it did in the first and second wave, thanks to our vaccination program.”
“That’s why it’s really important that we keep that vaccination program up and running, that we get those boosters rolled out as soon as we can and we get those children 12 to 15 year olds vaccinated in the next couple of weeks because the rates in schools are particularly high.”
The 7-day case rate in Wales is the highest amongst all the UK nations standing at 734 per 100, 000 population.
In Flintshire the case rate appears to be coming down, it stands 378 nearly 50% lower than the Wales average, a month ago it stood at 575 per 100,000 population.
As part of the latest three-week review, “we will be looking to see how we can absolutely make the most out of the measures that we already have in place.” The Health Minister said.
“Is there anything more we can do for example around working from home, which we know makes a huge difference?”
“Is there more we can do to make sure that people actually do wear face coverings in public places indoors?”
“We will be seeing if it may be necessary for us to roll out the vaccine passports to other situations.”
“There are a number of issues that we’ll be considering.”
The latest version of the Coronavirus Control Plan sets out two planning scenarios for the pandemic over the winter – in the first, called “Covid Stable”, Wales remains at alert level zero through the autumn and winter, with all businesses able to open.
The second planning scenario, called Covid Urgent, is designed to deal with any sudden changes to the situation, caused by the emergence of a new, fast-spreading variant or if vaccine immunity levels fall, causing a rise in pandemic pressures, which risk overwhelming the NHS.
Ms Morgan said there are no plans to change the alert level status in Wales, she said: “we’re not talking about moving up the [alert] levels at this point.”
“We will always keep that option open as we head into winter but hopefully the vaccination programme will help us to avoid the kinds of lockdowns that we had in the past.”
Any changes in Wales to Covis rules are generally announced at a press conference hosted by First Minister Mark Drakeford on the Friday of review week.
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