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Information informing the decision to bring in the COVID pass.

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First published:
22 March 2022
Last updated:


18 March 2022


ATISN 16123 – Evidence to Support the use of Covid Passes

Thank you for your request to the Welsh Government for information under the Freedom of Information Act (2000) received on 17 February 2022.  I have interpreted your request as follows:

  1. Regarding for the introduction of the initial Covid Pass system in Wales, you have noted that it largely relies upon modelling and surveys, rather than evidence. Please supply the evidence.
  1. To distinguish the statistical data between the hospitalisations and deaths of those WITH or FROM Covid-19.  You consider that this data would have been essential in the decision-making of the Welsh Government. 
  1. Although the links previously provided did confirm that hospital admissions, ITU occupation, and deaths were decreasing on 11th January 2022, you considered it was unclear from these links which evidence the Welsh Government used in its decision making to extend the use of the Covid-19 Passes and would like Welsh Government to clarify.
  1. Please provide the evidence as to why the Welsh Government made the decision to not insist on a negative lateral flow test from ALL individuals, not just unvaccinated groups in order to control the spread 
  1. The links provided for your previous request did not contain the data and research the Welsh Government has conducted or taken on board (including the Author's details and research titles), relating to the social, economic and psychological implications of the Covid Pass system.  Therefore, please provide the evidence as requested.

Our Response

In our response to your original request (our ref: ATISN 15971), we provided all of the assessments and advice that were used to support the decision to implement COVID passes.  They were implemented following discussions with the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer as one of many factors considered to try and support the opening up of society in a measured and responsible fashion, whilst reducing the risk of disease transmission in high risk settings.

The Covid Pass was an important part of a series of measures to mitigate the impact of Covid on our communities.  On 2 December 2021, the Welsh Government’s Technical Advisory Group and its Chief Scientific Advisor on Health expressly advised that it would be “challenging” to identify the specific impact of the scheme.  It is for this reason that the Welsh Ministers consider that the impact of the scheme is probably unmeasurable.

The Welsh Government also notes the findings of a recent study undertaken by researchers at Bruegel and the French Council of Economic analysis which suggested that covid passes improved public health outcomes and economic performance in France, Germany and Italy.

In reviewing our handling of your first request as per our policies/procedures we have also considered your points as new requests in our responses below.

1. We provided you with a range of UK wide evidence to support the introduction of covid passes.  

We do not hold any further information that can be used to respond to your query

2-3. We provided you with a range of statistical data and other information on hospital deaths 01/advice-technical-advisory-cell-and-chief-scientific-advisor-health-21-day-review13-january.pdf 

We do not hold any further information that can be used to respond to your query

4. We explained that the Welsh Government reviews the measures it has introduced to control the impact of covid 19 (including the covid pass) as part of its 21 day reviews.  

The information we provided to you in response to question 1, contained all the information and evidence that we hold.  This includes links to the advice provided by the Technical Advisory Group.

To confirm, the use of lateral flow tests were reviewed as part of the 21 day review of the measures introduced to tackle community transmission of Covid 19.  Consequently, the Welsh Government recommended that everyone socialising took a lateral flow test before they left the house in December.

5. We provided the links to the data and research the Welsh Government conducted relating to the social, economic and psychological implications of the Covid Pass system

We do not hold any further information that can be used to respond to your query

Next Steps

If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:

Information Rights Unit, 
Welsh Government,
Cathays Park, 
CF10 3NQ 

or Email:

Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office, 
Wycliffe House, 
Water Lane, 

However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.

Yours sincerely