Labour ministers must rule out extending COVID passes to other areas of society such as pubs, cafes and restaurants amid grave fears from industry leaders.
The Welsh Conservatives have called for assurances as vaccine passes come into force for theatres, cinemas and concert halls today (Nov 15).
Extending passes to pubs, cafes and restaurants would be disastrous for Wales and could seriously hamper the country’s economic recovery, the Welsh Conservatives say.
The Chief Executive of the Welsh Beer and Pub Association has warned any extension to the passes would put pubs and brewers in “jeopardy” and “must be avoided.”
A recent survey by the Night Time Industries Association’s members in Scotland found trade levels in nightclubs dropped by 46% and 24% in pubs.
That’s despite 90% of pubs implementing measures to take themselves out of the remit of the scheme such as decommissioning dance floors, reducing opening hours or cancelling live entertainment – all at significant financial loss.
A 46% decline in trade would represent a lost income of £506,000 per year per venue on average, the survey found.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for the Economy, Paul Davies MS, said:
“Our pubs, restaurants and cafes have been hit hard by the pandemic and the last thing they need now is the threat of dealing with COVID passes.
“Not only is there no evidence that these passes stop the spread of the virus, but they will seriously hamper our economic recovery at a time when we should be doing all we can to help it.
“Extending these passes to pubs, cafes and restaurants – especially as cases of the virus are falling – would be disastrous for our economy, jobs and Wales as a whole.
“Labour ministers need to listen to the industry experts and rule out expanding the pass scheme so businesses owners can stop worrying and focus their energy on bouncing back from the pandemic.”