PEOPLE from Herefordshire travelling into Wales will have to show a Covid pass to enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls as the country tightens its rules.

Since October 11 people have had to show they are fully vaccinated or have tested negative for Covid-19 to enter nightclubs and similar venues.

From November 15 the pass will also be needed to enter cinemas, theatres and concert halls after members of the Welsh Parliament approved the extension.

But the scheme has been criticised by Jane Dodds, the Member of Senedd for Mid and West Wales which covers border areas such as Hay-on-Wye, Knighton and Presteigne.

She said the scheme could have a big impact on smaller businesses, and doesn't want the scheme expanded any further.

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, said: “I am pleased the extension has been agreed today following the vote. 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 to 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 organisers 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.”

Big Brother Watch said it is initiating a legal challenge against the “authoritarian, invasive and unevidenced” scheme.

Speaking after the vote in favour of the extension of Covid passes, Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and Mid and West Wales MS Jane Dodds said: “The Welsh Liberal Democrats are extremely disappointed to see the covid pass system extended.

"Our view remains that the system is both illiberal and unworkable and we have not been provided with evidence to the contrary.

"The Welsh Government has broken trust by expanding a scheme it initially stated was for very limited circumstances.

“Despite requests to the Health Minister, we have not been provided with any evidence that shows the scheme has been effective in keeping down case numbers.

"There has also been no evidence provided to as why cinemas, theatres and concert halls have been singled out specifically.

“Both the Government’s own advisory unit and Chief Medical Officer have themselves admitted in the last week that the impact of the scheme is likely very small.

“It is deeply concerning the impact this decision will have on small businesses across Wales, over the last few weeks a number of community cinemas and theatres have gotten in touch with to express their fear of how they are meant to hire new staff to enforce this scheme without any financial support from the Welsh Government.

She added: “There will be serious financial repercussions if the scheme is expanded to other forms of hospitality including restaurants and cafes. We could also end up in the same situation as Italy, which has now mandated COVID Passports for public transport."

The expansion of the scheme means Wales will have the toughest Covid rules in the UK. While Scotland does have a Covid pass system in place, it is only for large events.