Covid passes could be brought in for hospitality sector over Christmas if cases rise warns Drakeford
Mark Drakeford has said that Covid passes could be brought in for the hospitality sector over Christmas if cases rise over the coming weeks.
Wales’ First Minister announced no changes to restrictions last night. But the next three-week review falls on December 10th and will take in the Christmas period and up until New Year’s eve.
Mark Drakeford said he would do “everything we can to keep Wales open and to keep Wales safe” including extending the passes to pubs and restaurants.
“This means keeping the option of extending the use of the Covid Pass if cases rise again and pandemic pressures on the NHS increase, to help keep the hospitality sector open and trading through the busy festive period,” he said.
The overall picture for Covid cases in Wales has been mixed over the past few months, with no sustained rise or fall in cases but rather smaller peaks and troughs. The seven-day rolling infection rate in Wales as a whole is currently 498 cases per 100,000 people.
“We will continue to monitor the public health situation and we will work with the hospitality sector as we prepare for Christmas,” Mark Drakeford added. “Let’s keep working together to keep each other safe – so we can all enjoy Christmas together.”
The Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Liberal Democrats have already called on the Welsh Government to rule out extending Covid passes.
They made their opposition known as the passes came into force for theatres, cinemas and concert halls on Monday.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS, said that pubs, restaurants and cafes had been hit by the pandemic and “the last thing they need now” is the threat of dealing with COVID passes.
“Not only is there no evidence that these passes stop the spread of the virus, but they will seriously hamper our economic recovery at a time when we should be doing all we can to help it,” he said.
“Extending these passes to pubs, cafes and restaurants – especially as cases of the virus are falling – would be disastrous for our economy, jobs and Wales as a whole.
“Labour ministers need to listen to the industry experts and rule out expanding the pass scheme so business owners can stop worrying and focus their energy on bouncing back from the pandemic.”
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