NHS COVID pass proviso for Welsh sports fans



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Welsh stadium visitors will need to show covid pass Image: Principality Stadium

Sports fans will need to show a pass proving they have been fully vaccinated or had a negative COVID test to attend large-scale events in Wales (UK) from October 11th.

The ‘BBC Sport’ stated that supporters will be able to use a National Health Service (NHS) COVID Pass to show they are vaccinated, or had a negative lateral flow test in the 48 hours before the event.

The National Health Service (NHS) is the umbrella term for the publicly-funded healthcare systems of the United Kingdom. Since 1948, they have been funded out of general taxation. There are three systems which are referred to using the ‘NHS’ name.

The Principality Stadium will stage four autumn rugby internationals. Wales have announced a 74,500 sell-out against New Zealand on October 30th.

The ‘BBC Sport’ further stated that this will be followed by matches against South Africa, Fiji (country in Oceania) and Australia.

The 74,500-capacity Millennium Stadium, known since 2016 as the Principality Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the national stadium of Wales (UK). Located in Cardiff, it is the home of the Wales national rugby union team and has also held Wales’s national football team games.

The Pass will be required for any event at which more than 10,000 people attend. It is also needed for nightclubs, indoor no-seating events with more than 500 people and outdoor no-seating events with more than 4,000 people.

The First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, made the announcement as part of the latest review of coronavirus restrictions.

The Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) confirmed proof would be required to attend the four international games this summer.

Stated a WRU spokesperson, “Throughout the last 18 months, the Welsh Rugby Union and the Principality Stadium have been working to the advice and guidance set out by the Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. The wellbeing of supporters and staff is our top priority and we want all supporters to have the best possible experience in the best rugby stadium in the world. Following the most recent announcement by the Welsh Government, from October 11th, 2021 the NHS COVID Pass will become an entry requirement for all events scheduled at Principality Stadium.”

The regulations could affect the Welsh regional sides Cardiff Rugby, Ospreys Rugby, Scarlets Rugby, and Dragons Rugby if they attract a five-figure crowd.

The new rules will also affect Championship football matches involving Cardiff City F.C. and Swansea City A.F.C. and Wales men’s World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Belgium in November.

The internationals will be staged at the Cardiff City Stadium which has a 33,280 capacity, while the Swansea.com Stadium in Wales can hold up to 21,088.

Swansea and Cardiff City play in the English Football League (EFL) but there are currently no requirements set out for COVID passes in England so the regulations are set to affect away fans traveling to the Welsh grounds.

A statement from Swansea City said they were “awaiting guidance” to discover how COVID-19 passports would be administered – “Once we have further detail we will communicate with supporters in advance of the planned rollout on October 11th.”

The Newport County A.F.C. play in League Two at the Rodney Parade in Wales which has a capacity of 7,850 for football so would not be affected by the 10,000 limit.

The Wrexham A.F.C. also plays in the National League (the National League is the lowest of the five nationwide football divisions in England, below the Premier League and the three divisions of the EFL) with the 10,771-capacity Racecourse Ground in North Wales being able to host just over 10,000 fans. The EFL are awaiting further clarity on the application of COVID certification in Wales which they say will enable clubs to provide guidance to supporters ahead of matches.

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