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Covid pass - what you need to know

From Monday 11 October people attending large events and nightclubs (or similar premises) will have to prove they are either fully vaccinated or haveNightclub had a negative lateral flow test (LFT) in the last 48 hours or have been tested positive by means of a PCT test no more than 180 days or less than 10 days beforehand.

These requirements which  should form part of the bespoke risk assessment and be one of the reasonable measures that is required to be put in place, apply in relation to certain specific premises and settings (see below).  The specific provisions are set out in regulation 16A.

It is important to note that this new evidence checking requirement forms part of a range of reasonable measures which should generally be implemented dependent on the steps identified as part of the bespoke risk assessment.  It does not remove the need to consider and implement other measures.

The bespoke risk assessment should also set out the rationale and justification of how each business and setting has chosen to operate this requirement, which will normally be by means of individuals wishing to attend or enter having to produce a covid-pass. What is considered reasonable in terms of checking will vary at different times and for different venues depending on a range of circumstances, including the capacity and entry procedures. 

There may be circumstances where checking everyone entering a particular premises might give rise to particularly large queues and bunching of people, but with other premises, they will already have procedures for checking by means of a queuing system, where it would be reasonable also to check whether each individual has a valid covid pass.  For example, it is normal for night clubs to control numbers by operating a queue outside of the premises, and the expectation is that they would check each person wishing to enter, but carrying out checks on every person entering at major football or rugby matches could exacerbate safety issues as it could lead to larger than normal queues forming outside.

A nightclub, for example, would be able to check the COVID passes of everyone entering the venue. Each venue will need to undertake a risk assessment to ensure that it can justify what it considers to be a  reasonable measure in the context of checking, taking account  of its other statutory duties for example health and safety of its customers, wider public order issues and potential terrorism risks.

Settings

The new requirements will mean people over the age of 18 in Wales will need to show that they are fully vaccinated or have had a negative lateral flow test 48 hours or have been tested positive by means of a PCT test no more than 180 days or less than 10 days beforehand before they are allowed entry to:

• nightclubs and similar venues (see below)

• indoor premises where an event is being held with more than 500 people in attendance where not everyone is normally seated

• any outdoor premises where an event is being held with over 4,000 people in attendance, where not everyone is normally seated

• any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance

For multi-day events, multi venue events or events with separate shows during the day – it is the number of people attending on any day or any show, at any time. It does not include staff, contractors, performers, or volunteers involved in the delivery of the event.In determining whether or not events are to be treated as outdoors, consideration should be given to any indoor facilities on site which may be occupied by people for most of the day (for example hospitality).  In such circumstances, this may mean that the event should be treated as an indoors one. However, a concourse that is provided solely for the provision of food or drink for take away consumption outdoors at the event and provision of toilets should not be considered to be an indoor event.

Nightclubs and similar venues captured

The requirement to check individuals’ COVID Passes will be required in nightclubs and places where music is provided for dancing - but only if they are authorised to serve or supply alcohol and are open at any time between midnight and 5 am.The requirement to have a COVID Pass applies to nightclubs and other places where music is provided for dancing if they serve alcohol and are open at any time between midnight and 5 am (and the requirement to have a COVID Pass applies to such premises at any time, including times outside these hours, if they are open and are providing music for people to dance).

This means that a pub, for example, with a dancefloor that starts to play music from 3pm onwards and closes after midnight would be required to implement the COVID Pass for entry from at least 3pm (earlier if those who enter early will still be there when the music starts).

However a pub with a dancefloor which closes before midnight would not have to implement the COVID Pass requirements to enter (unless they are holding any type of unseated event for more than 500 people).

Likewise, a pub that does not have a dancefloor and are not providing music for the purpose of dancing will not be required to implement a COVID Pass requirement to enter (unless they are holding an unseated event for more than 500 people, then they would be captured by that particular provision and would be required to check individuals COVID Passes)

Exemptions and exceptions

The requirements will only apply to checking the COVID Passes of members of the public attending these venues and event – but not to staff, contractors, performers or volunteers involved in the delivery of the event. However, in order to protect themselves and others and to help us keep the sector open , venue owners and event organisers  should consider encouraging all those on site to take lateral flow tests twice a week as part of their risk assessments.     

The following are examples of the types of premises that are specifically exempted from the requirement.  Premises used for or at which:

• an outdoor event that does not require an entrance fee or ticket to attend is being held, and where the event site has multiple points of entry (this would cover, for example, a free fireworks display in a public park, or a farmers market)

• a protest or picket is being held• a mass participation sporting event is being held outdoors (such as a marathon, triathlon or cycle race); or

• the celebration of a marriage or civil partnership, or the life of a deceased person (but only for such times as they are being used for those purposes)

The following people will not need to provide evidence to enter a venue or event

• under 18s

• people working, volunteering or performing in the venues

The current guidance on accessing the COVID Pass can be found here.