Mark Drakeford Tells the Welsh Hospitality Industry to Prepare for Vaccine Passports

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has declared that vaccine passports may be imposed on the hospitality industry, along with the return of work from home mandates, to tackle an increase in the number of Covid hospital admissions. The Welsh Government also wishes to introduce vaccine passports to cinemas, theatres, and concert halls from November 15th. The MailOnline has the story.

Speaking on Sky News, Drakeford said: “We have to make a concerted effort over the next three weeks to bring those numbers down.”

It comes as Wales is set to tighten Covid restrictions to tackle a rising number of hospital admissions, with more than 680 people in Welsh hospitals with Covid on October 27th. 

Positive case numbers have also been at their highest recorded total since the pandemic began this month, although numbers have dipped in recent days to fewer than 2,600. 

Official data showed England recorded 33,903 new infections, 2,153 cases were confirmed in Scotland, while 2,664 were spotted in Wales and 1,122 in Northern Ireland. Cases appear to be trending downwards in all four nations. 

And the number of people going to hospital who were infected with Covid seems to be plateauing. Some 962 sought NHS care on Sunday — the most recent day the data is available for — a rise of 0.3% on the 959 patients admitted last week.

Meanwhile, 165 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, a jump of 43.5% on the 115 deaths recorded on the same day last week.

Despite cases trending downwards and No10’s modellers estimating there will be just 5,000 daily cases over the festive period, the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said the UK is still in a “very uncertain phase'” of the pandemic and warned ‘Plan B’ should not be taken off the table.

Within Wales, adults who are fully vaccinated, and young people aged five to 17, will be asked to self-isolate until they have received a negative PCR test if someone in their household has symptoms or tests positive for Covid.

People who are not vaccinated will still have to self-isolate for 10 days following contact with someone who has tested positive, including close contacts outside of their household.

Asked what more could be done, Mr Drakeford told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We can certainly extend the Covid pass into other settings. 

“We will be talking to hospitality over the next three weeks to help them to prepare, should that be necessary. We hope it won’t be, of course.

“We will go back to the risk assessments we carry out in the workplace to see whether there is more we can do, more people working from home, back to social distancing in the workplace, looking at the way that schools are organised to try to prevent more young people from contracting the disease.

“The current level of restrictions in Wales are the lowest they have been since coronavirus began. I want it to stay that way, to keep Wales safe, to keep Wales open”.

Worth reading in full.

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