PEOPLE who want to visit nightclubs and larger events in Wales now need to prove they have been vaccinated or recently tested negative for Covid-19.

The mandatory Covid Pass scheme started earlier this week after the Senedd passed the law in a tight vote.

Clubs and other venues taking part in the scheme now have the right to refuse entry to anyone who cannot display a valid Covid Pass.

The Passes are most easily displayed on people's phones, but there are other options available.

Find out how to register and receive a Covid Pass here.

The Welsh Government said the new scheme was based on scientific advice to use "low-cost interventions" to tackle Covid-19 transmission.

It is also hoped that, by using the Covid Pass scheme, venues like nightclubs will be able to stay open this winter, unlike during previous waves of the pandemic. 

Where will I need to show a Covid Pass?

It is now mandatory to show a Pass if you are over 18 and visit a nightclub (or similar venue), indoor venues with more than 500 attendees where some people are not seated, venues (including outdoor) with more than 4,000 attendees where some people are not seated, and any event with more than 10,000 attendees.

But protests and some free events, as well as events like weddings or funerals, will be exempt.

Nightclubs are defined as anywhere serving alcohol, that is open at any time between midnight and 5am, and where music is provided for dancing. This means that some venues which you may think of as bars, rather than clubs, will also be included in the Covid Pass scheme.

How will venues check my Covid Pass status?

Clubs and other venues will check people's Passes on the door, using the official NHS verifier app.

For most people, the easiest way to take part in the Covid Pass scheme is to show the official barcode on their phone. The person checking the Passes will then scan your code or check it manually.

At nightclubs and smaller events, the Government expects these checks to be made for every single visitor.

There'll be similar document checks for people who cannot display the Pass on their phone (see below). 

What if I can't show a Covid Pass on the NHS app?

Not everyone will be able to register and download the Covid Pass app on their phones, but there are other ways to comply with the Covid Pass scheme and gain entry to clubs and events.

Some paper certificates of vaccination (not including the vaccination cards given to you after you receive your jabs) will be accepted. For a list of examples, see the Welsh Government's website.

Additionally, proof of a recent negative test will also be accepted if you can produce the official government email or text confirmation of the result.

And if you have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past six months and completed the mandatory 10 days of isolation, you can also show the official government text or email confirming your result.

Some people may not be able to have the vaccine or a test. The government is working on an update to the Covid Pass that will show when people are exempt – but for now this is unavailable. In these circumstances, the government said venues "should recognise the exemption and allow that individual entry".

Will the club/event store my personal information?

No, the Welsh Government said businesses should not store any personal information obtained through the Covid Pass scheme.

The Pass will display the holder's name and the document's validity, and there is no requirement for venues to store this information.

But venues have been asked to make sure their verification apps are set to the correct 'domestic' setting to prevent any health information being recorded.

If people do not have the digital Covid Pass on their phone, they can show a text or email showing a negative test result (see above), but again venues are not required to store any of this information.

What happens if venues do not check for Covid Passes?

Enforcement action could be taken against any clubs or events that do not comply with the new scheme, which is now a legal requirement in Wales.

It forms part of the Welsh Government's coronavirus regulations, so any venue not following the rules could be in legal trouble.

The government has acknowledged that the system may vary depending on the size of events, however.

"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 every 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," the Welsh Government said.

So this means that some people may not be checked at the biggest events, although it is up to organisers to complete risk assessments before making a decision on how thoroughly to check people's Covid Passes.

Punishments for venues that breach the Covid Pass rules range from on-the-spot fixed penalty notices to fines of a maximum £10,000 for repeated offending.