Covid passports could be extended to hospitality in Wales 'to save Christmas'

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor

Welsh first Minister Mark Drakeford has warned stricter Covid rules could be brought back to ensure people can have "a normal Christmas" - including the controversial Covid passports already required to access certain settings.

From 15 November, Covid passes - which offer proof of a person's vaccinated status or the result of a negative lateral flow test - will be extended to cinemas, theatres and concert halls, and should infections continue to climb in Wales, he warned that they might be required for pubs, restaurants and cafes.

Like in Scotland, these are already required for nightclubs and many large events.

Reacting to the news, the chief executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls said the proposed extension would be "catastrophic" for the industry.

"No furlough, grant or other support a combination of working from home and wider use of vaccine passports would see many businesses struggling to survive," she said.

Scotland as a warning 

The scheme has been introduced in nightclubs across both Wales and Scotland, offering a glimpse of the potential effects such measures could have on hospitality. 

Data collected by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) since the introduction of Covid passports in mid-October showed that that trading levels for nightlife businesses have been severely affected, with trade levels dropping by almost half (46 percent), with some reporting declines in excess of 60 percent compared to previous weeks. 

In terms of revenue, a 46 percent decline in trade for nightclubs would represent lost income of £506,000 per year per venue on average if this scheme continues compared to pre-vaccine passport levels of trade. If this were to be implemented in Scottish pubs and bars, it was estimated that a mere 24 percent decline in trade would represent lost income of £180,000 on average compared to pre-vaccine passport levels of trade.

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Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Tanwen Dawn-Hiscox

Deputy Editor 29th October 2021

Covid passports could be extended to hospitality in Wales 'to save Christmas'