IF COVID Passes are extended to the hospitality industry in Wales - it could call time on some pubs in Wrexham and Flintshire.

Pubs and restaurants in Wales have been struggling for almost two years in the face of measures to keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

They lost out on Christmas trade last year as Wales was put into lockdown.

Now, with new measures set to be announced on Friday in the face of the newly identified Omicron variant, there are fears that covid passes could be extended to pubs and places to eat.

Covid Passes prove that someone is vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative.

But some publicans fear "an extra hoop to jump through" will put people off visiting pubs - at a time when the trade can least afford it.

Andrew Griffiths, landlord of the Burntwood in Drury, said many in the hospitality industry could not afford to miss out on another Christmas.

He said: "It's a very busy time of year for us and to expect people to jump through more hoops to come an enjoy a drink in their local pub would be ridiculous.

"It would be a nightmare for us."

"Pubs are closing down up and down the country. It has been a struggle for us with having to close and open again. We missed out on last Christmas and now a lot of businesses are looking to this time to make up on what they lost out on.

"It's a farce."

The NHS Covid Pass was introduced earlier this year for entry to nightclubs and larger indoor and outdoor events despite opposition from the Welsh Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.

It was then extended to cinemas and theatres last month with, this time, Plaid backing the move.

People can also show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

But those who fake a coronavirus test result or vaccination status will be committing a criminal offence and face a fixed penalty notice.

Ministers are now considering whether to expand the scheme again, with the next Covid rules review set to take place on Friday.

Mr Drakeford said the emergence of the Omicron variant has led to circumstances developing "so fast".

The first case of Omicron was confirmed in Wales on Friday.

Speaking on the Politics Wales programme, Mr Drakeford said: "We've got another week to go. We will learn a lot in that week about the Omicron virus.

"If we were to do it, it would simply be to help those businesses to stay open and still attracting customers through the door because people would feel confident that everybody else in that setting were either vaccinated or had taken a lateral flow test.

"But we haven't made that decision, and we won't make that decision right up until the day we have to, because circumstances and knowledge are developing so fast around the new variant that you ought to wait to have the maximum amount of information that you can."