Businesses across Wales have welcomed the recent announcement that there are ‘no immediate plans’ to extend Covid passes into more parts of the hospitality industry.
Compulsory NHS Covid passes were introduced in Wales last month and are currently required to enter nightclubs, indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people (such as concerts and conventions), outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, and any setting or event with more than 10,000 people.
Wale’s First Minister, Mark Drakeford commented earlier this month suggesting that the policy could be extended into more hospitality venues.
The introduction of the Covid pass has considerably impacted the Welsh hospitality sector, with a recent poll reporting that late-night businesses experiencing a 26% drop in trade since the roll-out.
Businesses across Wales are reporting that the Covid passes are cutting trade, pushing up costs, stretching staff resources and negatively affecting public perception of current industry safety regimes.
Many businesses have been forced to alter their business models to avoid having to implement the Covid pass, including reducing operating hours, removing dance floors and switching off music.
David Chapman, UKHospitality’s executive director for Wales said that further expansion to the wider hospitality sector could restrict hospitality trade by up to 15% in the run up to Christmas, and an Night Time Industries Association spokesperson said it would have a "devastating impact on trade and will reverse the recovery process for the entire sector".