Mark Drakeford insists Welsh 'can have fun' amid COVID passport
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Politicians voted 28/27 in favour of the mandatory Covid passes in nightclubs and at large venues on Tuesday which will see Welsh residents forced to prove they have been vaccinated. The plans will come into force on October 11. Mr Drakeford told Radio 4’s Today Programme that the measures are crucial to keep the Welsh economy open throughout what he predicted to be a tough autumn and winter period.
Mr Drakeford said: “The point of the Covid pass is to allow businesses to stay open.
“If we don’t have this defence and Coronavirus numbers rise over the autumn and the winter then these are the venues which will be the first to be closed.”
He stressed: “The purpose of it is not to penalise any business, it is to give that business an extra defence to continue to operate.”
Bolstering his argument the First Minister highlighted how 1,000 young people per 100,000 in Wales currently have coronavirus.
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The Welsh First Minister went on to say how the Government take all of their advice from SAGE who say measures must be taken early and take “low hanging measures” which can be put into place easily.
Mr Drakeford went on to insist how the Welsh covid pass is “very easy to use” and its usage in the country is being focused on “high risk” venues.
He said: “It will help to keep Wales open and to keep Wales safe.”
Mr Robinson then drew on the fact England have not followed suit just yet and questioned whether England is being “complacent” over the issue.
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The Welshman rejected the idea of complacency with the introduction of vaccine passports in England adding how the UK are still “contemplating measures” that may be necessary if we have a tough autumn and winter.
But he stressed how regardless of the measures brought forward in England, the Covid pass will now be “part of our landscape” in Wales.
Mr Drakeford was then pressed by host Nick Robinson over whether the vaccine pass in Wales is limiting the “fun” of the Welsh compared to the English.
He hit back, slamming: “They can absolutely have their fun! By having the COVID pass system in place…
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“They will be able to go on having that fun for longer!”
But controversy was sparked after the Conservative Vale of Clwyd Member of the Senedd (MS) Gareth Davies did not take part in the vote, with the Tories citing “technical difficulties” for what happened.
They claimed the vote would not have passed if Mr Davies had voted.
Nightclub industry representatives have branded the move a “shambles”.
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