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Wales still has the highest Covid rate in the UK

During Tuesday’s weekly briefing on the Coronavirus outbreak, Welsh Minister for Health Eluned Morgan warned Wales still had the highest rate of Coronavirus infections in the UK.

Ms Morgan confirmed that the Welsh Government would move ahead with plans for Covid passes for cinemas, concert halls, and theatres.

She described the introduction of passes for nightclubs and major events as a success, she said: “Today, we will bring forward regulations in the Senedd to extend the use of the Covid Pass to cinemas, concert halls and theatres.”

“These are all indoor, ticketed venues, where people are in close contact with others for long periods of time. Extending the Covid Pass is one more way we can strengthen the measures we have in place at alert level zero, when rates are this high, to help keep us safe and to keep Wales open.”

“But we hope that, together with all the other measures we currently have in place, their use will help to bring coronavirus under control.”

“Because we want to do everything we can to prevent the need for further, more severe restrictions of the kind we saw last winter.”

The latest seven-day infection rate across Wales for the week ending November 3 (based on the cases reported for every 100,000 people) dropped to 536.9 – a decrease from the 546.8 reported on Sunday.

While the vote is being held at the Senedd, in Cardiff Bay, protestors are expected to gather amid concerns the passes restrict personal freedom

Commenting ahead of this evening’s vote in the Senedd on the possible extension of covid passes to cinemas, concert halls and theatresWelsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds MS stated:

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose any expansion of the COVID pass scheme in Wales. The previous vote on the implementation of the scheme was based on their limited use in certain premises and venues. The Welsh Government is already breaking trust by expanding the scheme despite not presenting any evidence of their effectiveness in reducing case numbers.

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“Our view remains that the system is both illiberal and unworkable. Recent leaked evidence from the UK Government continues to demonstrate that in addition to concerns over civil liberties, the scheme may be counterproductive, pushing people from larger venues into poorly ventilated smaller venues.

“I am also extremely concerned over the financial impact of the scheme on an industry that is already struggling to deal with the fallout of the pandemic. Community theatres and cinemas have repeatedly raised their concerns over the financial impact of the extension of the scheme, which have not been adequately addressed.”