How latest pandemic changes will impact people living and working in Bridgend

From Monday 15 November, people in Wales must show a Covid Pass or demonstrate their Covid-19 status to enter cinemas, concert halls and theatres, Welsh Government has announced as part of a move to help keep Wales safe and open during the pandemic.

The new requirement follows the mandatory use of a Covid Pass for over-18s attending nightclubs, indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, outdoor non-seated events with more than 4,000 in attendance, or any setting or event featuring more than 10,000 people.

It means people attending cinemas, concert halls and theatres across Wales will be required to prove that they are fully vaccinated by downloading the NHS Covid-19 pass for free or demonstrate that they have received a negative lateral flow test result within the last 72 hours. Full details of how you can do this are available on the Welsh Government website.

Announcing the new measures, Eluned Morgan, Wales’ Health Minister, said: “Covid has not gone away and cases remain high and we need to continue to take steps to keep Wales safe.

“The NHS Covid Pass is one measure among many to help keep businesses open while also helping to control the spread of the virus.

“The decision to introduce them has not been taken lightly, and the venues that will be covered are indoors and see large numbers of people being closely together for prolonged periods of time.

“Since 11 October, people have been required to show an NHS Covid Pass or recent negative lateral flow test result to enter nightclubs, similar venues and events and the service is working well.

“We have received positive feedback from a range of businesses and organiser of major events, including following the recent rugby internationals. We will continue to work with the sectors who are implementing the scheme to best support them.”

Welsh Government also confirmed that they would not be making Covid vaccinations compulsory for health or social care staff in Wales.

Plans have been announced in England which require frontline staff in England to be fully vaccinated by next spring but Welsh ministers will not be implementing the same rule and said ‘we do not see the need for compulsory measures’.

Meanwhile, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board have announced that nearly 80,000 Covid-19 boosters have been given to people in the region.

Appointment letters are being sent out all the time and the health board has thanked people for their patience. At this stage, there is no need to contact the health board for an appointment and invitations will be sent in due course.

Any 12-15 year olds who were unable to make their original appointment can now request a new appointment or opt-out of the vaccine programme. An exclusive advice line has been set up for those in this age group and parents and information for that can be found on the health board’s website.

Community vaccination centres do not offer booster walk-ins but are continuing to offer walk-in clinics to people who are yet to have their first dose, or are overdue their second dose. First dose walk-ins are for people aged 16 and over, while second dose walk-ins are available to people aged 18 and over.

This includes Ravens Court in Bridgend (CF31 4AP) which is currently available from 11am-4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Bridgend County Borough Council Leader, Cllr Huw David said: “Over 105,368 people in the county borough are now fully vaccinated against coronavirus which is a big step towards our efforts to fight off this pandemic.

“Welsh Government has once again stressed the importance of getting vaccinated, especially as we approach the winter months.

“Cases across Wales continue to be very high, and it is hoped that the extension to Covid Passes requirement will help to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

 “The pandemic is far from over. It is in our hands to do all that we can to stop this from getting worse and to keep the county borough open and safe this winter. I urge everyone to ensure that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 as quickly as possible.”

Elsewhere in Bridgend County Borough, mobile testing remains available for anyone experiencing symptoms of coronavirus. A drive-through testing facility is available at the former Revlon site in Maesteg (CF34 9TS) between 9am to 5pm, and booking is essential.

Drive-through testing is also available at Coity and Litchard Community Centre (CF31 1PA) from 9am-5pm, and booking is essential before you can use this facility.

A walk-through testing centre at the Bowls Hall car park in Angel Street, Bridgend (CF31 4AH) remains available between 8am-8pm, and booking is essential for this site.

You can arrange appointments by visiting the Welsh Government website or calling 119. If you have hearing or speech difficulties, you can call 18001119 as an alternative.

For more information about Covid-19 testing and vaccinations, visit the Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board website.