Plaid Cymru to vote against plan for NHS Covid pass for clubs and large events
Plaid Cymru has confirmed that it will vote against a Welsh Government plan to introduce an NHS Covid pass for clubs and large events.
The party’s spokesperson for health, Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, says they are not voting “against the principle”, but argues that the “system is open to exploitation”.
This puts the vote, which is taking place today, on a knife edge, because Labour has 30 out of 60 Senedd members and needs the vote of an opposition politician to get the legislation passed.
It is understood that the Conservatives and Jane Dodds, the sole Liberal Democrat in the Senedd, do not back the plan.
This means the decision of Plaid Cymru to vote against could be enough to torpedo the proposal. The party is currently in negotiations with the Welsh Government over a cooperation agreement.
Welsh Government ministers have said they want to roll out the passes next Monday.
When visiting large events people will have to show whether they are fully vaccinated or have had a recent negative test.
Rhun ap Iorwerth said: “Since the start of this pandemic, Plaid Cymru has been ready to support the introduction of a range of measures to control and limit the transmission of the virus – even in situations where sometimes quite severe limitations have been imposed on our freedoms.
“When we have backed restrictions, it’s been when we have been convinced that the evidence is clear on the positive impact those measures would have, and that they can be implemented in practice.
‘Raise more questions’
He added: “Regrettably, the regulations proposed by Welsh Government today raise more questions than they provide answers. There is insufficient evidence and little detail on how it will work in practice. In particular, the rapid test loophole which represents a fudge on the part of the Government, makes the system open to exploitation.
“We’ve asked many questions and haven’t been given the assurances we’ve sought. And it’s for that reason that we feel unable to support these regulations today.
“We are not voting against because of issues of principle. We asked Welsh Government to withdraw this motion and made it clear we’d contribute to discussions on how something more robust could be brought forward, better evidenced, and with clarity on implication. That offer is still open.”