Covid passes will be required at all theatres in Wales from today – much to the disappointment of venues across the country. Liam Evans-Ford, executive director of Theatr Clwyd and chair of Welsh theatres body Creu Cymru, says it could create barriers for some audiences. Audience members at Welsh theatres, concert halls and cinemas will need to show a Covid pass to prove they are fully vaccinated, have had a recent negative lateral flow test, or have recovered from the virus. Evans-Ford says Welsh theatres take all precautions to protect audiences but he is disappointed the pass scheme is being extended to theatres without warning. “No consultation had taken place ahead of the announcement and despite requests, no data has been given explaining why this is being introduced to our sectors before others – even though ministers have been detailed about transmission rates for retail, in the workplace, in hospitality and within schools,” he said. “We will of course deliver this at Theatr Clwyd, but there will be additional costs and no one can be sure what impact it will have on bookings and attendance. It could heighten confidence – but it could also create a barrier for people attending.” Almost a third of Theatr Clwyd’s audience travels from England, where vaccine passports are not required, potentially creating further difficulties for Welsh theatres enforcing the new rule.
The Welsh government already requires an NHS Covid pass from anyone over 18 to legally enter nightclubs and large events.
Unlike England, where a vaccination certificate can be obtained by loading the NHS app on a smart phone and filling in a few details (which is acceptable for visits to Welsh attractions covered by today's new regulation), the Welsh NHS requires the user (anyone registered with a Welsh GP) to log into its website and upload an ID photo from a driving licence or passport, or request a paper certificate.
Full details here