Covid pass to be introduced after Tory MS failed to get on Zoom to cast vote
An NHS Covid pass for clubs and large events will be introduced after a Tory MS failed to get on Zoom to cast his vote.
The vote means that from Monday you will need a Covid pass to go into any Welsh nightclub or large event.
The vote passed by 28 votes for and 27 votes against, following a technical mishap from Gareth Davies, who represents the Vale of Clwyd.
If all opposition MSs had voted against the measure, the Welsh Government would have not had enough support to get it passed.
The Senedd was sitting in a hybrid format with some of the 60 members present and others attending the session remotely.
Darren Millar, the MS for Clwyd West, could be heard trying to intervene on behalf of his Conservative colleague Gareth Davies.
He was told by the Llywydd Elin Jones that all attempts to get him onto the relevant software had taken place.
The Conservatives later released a statement saying that “a number of members across political groups experienced technical difficulties with the voting system this evening, which demonstrates why the hybrid Parliament in Wales must come to an end”.
“We reaffirm our view that such significant votes should be held in person on the floor of the Senedd and Welsh Conservatives remain steadfastly opposed to the introduction of Covid passports.”
It is not the first Senedd technical mishap to change a vote – in 2006 the Senedd held a public inquiry into the ambulance service after then Health Minister Brian Gibbons accidentally pressed the wrong button in the chamber.
Members of the Senedd later had trouble leaving the Welsh Parliament due to anti-Covid pass protestors blocking the exits
“Surreal evening in the Senedd,” Tom Giffard MS said. “And to compound matters, we can’t get out of the building at the moment because of the protests outside!”
Before the vote Health Minister Eluned Morgan told MSs that not supporting the law “will be an act gross of irresponsibility”.
However Plaid Cymru had said they were not voting “against the principle”, but argued that the “system is open to exploitation”.
When visiting large events people will have to show whether they are fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative test.
The plan is for the scheme to come into force from Monday, October 11, at:
- Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
- Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
- Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance