COVID passes will no longer be needed in venues in Wales from next week after a change in the rules by the Welsh Government.

First minister Mark Drakeford has announced that from Friday, February 18, Covid passes will no longer be required to enter venues such as nightclubs, theatres and concert halls – although individual venues and events can continue to ask for them if they wish.

The changes are due to be confirmed today at 12.15pm during the first three-week review of Wales’s alert level zero measures.

The conference will be taken by Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, in place of Mr Drakeford who has tested positive for Covid.

Mr Drakeford said vaccination levels and decreasing infection rates mean the country can “look forward to brighter times ahead”.

He signalled that face masks could be scrapped completely by the end of March should public health conditions continue to improve.

A plan will be published next month setting out how Wales will move beyond “the emergency footing on which we have been operating for nearly two years”, Mr Drakeford said.

The First Minister said: “With increasing numbers of people vaccinated and boosted and thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone across Wales, we are confident that coronavirus rates are falling and we can look forward to brighter times ahead.

“We can start to gradually and carefully remove some of the remaining protections we have in place at alert level zero.

“But we are not removing all the measures at once because the pandemic is not over yet.

“To keep Wales safe we need to remain cautious and do everything we can to reassure those who feel most at risk.”

From February 18, there will no longer be a legal requirement to have domestic Covid passes to enter indoor or outdoor events including nightclubs, cinemas, or theatres.

But venues will still be able to use them if they choose to.

However, the international Covid pass rules will remain in force.

What are all the announced rule changes?

  • From tomorrow - Friday, February 11, adults interacting with babies and small children at baby and toddler groups will be able to remove their face covering.
  • From Friday, February 18, Covid passes will no longer be required to enter large indoor or outdoor events in Wales, which includes cinemas, nightclubs, theatres and concert halls. However, venues and event organisers may choose to require them.
  • From Monday, February 28, masks will no longer be mandatory in indoor public places except for retail, health and social care settings and on public transport
  • Also from February 28, schools will return to using their local decision framework.