By Lesley Griffiths

MS for Wrexham

At the latest three-week review of the coronavirus regulations, Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford confirmed people will have to show a NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and attend certain events from next month.

Wales will remain at Alert Level 0 for a further three weeks but the First Minister warned certain measures must continue throughout the autumn to help try and avoid the reintroduction of stricter regulations at a later date.

The vaccine remains the best way to prevent serious illness and the spread of coronavirus. Frontline NHS staff working in North Wales became the first in the country to receive their Covid-19 booster jab last week and invitations are being sent to people offering appointments for their third jab.

Vaccines will also be offered to 12 – 15 year olds from next week.

The Welsh Government is also keen to reinforce the importance of working from home and people must continue to wear face coverings in most indoor public places.

The requirement to show a NHS Covid Pass to enter nightclubs and certain larger events will come into force from 11 October. The Pass is not new. It has been used successfully at various events throughout the summer. People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS Covid Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status. It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

If people remain vigilant and follow these latest measures, it will help keep Wales open and keep people safe as we approach the winter months.

Ken Skates MS and I recently visited the Discretionary Assistance Fund (DAF) headquarters based on the Wrexham Industrial Estate to hear more about their life-changing work.

The DAF is a Welsh Government initiative that provides urgent grants to people who have nowhere else to turn. The nationwide service is administered by the team in Wrexham, who work with more than 600 partner organisations.

After speaking with staff, it is clear there is a need for an emergency welfare fund. Throughout the pandemic, more people have been forced to turn to the DAF as they face increased financial pressures. More and more clients contacting the service are in work so I am pleased the Welsh Government responded by outlining an additional £25.4m of support.

The Fund’s efficiency and flexibility often makes all the difference. The speed in which the team in Wrexham can respond is remarkable and can help turn people’s lives around.