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Digital NHS COVID Pass available in Wales for urgent travel

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People living in Wales who have received the Covid vaccine will be able to access their vaccination status via the internet from today [25 June] to generate an NHS COVID Pass for urgent outbound international travel.

Vaccine certificates have been available in Wales since May for those who need to urgently travel internationally and provide proof of their vaccination status, with certificates being sent in the post. 

The paper certificates will continue to be issued only for people who are unable to access the digital Pass. Access to the NHS COVID Pass in Wales means that proof of vaccination will be available for people to show on their phone, tablet or laptop.

Covid vaccination status is available if you:

  • Have had the COVID-19 vaccine 
  • Were vaccinated in Wales
  • Are aged 16 or over

The digital pass will show if you have been vaccinated against Covid, although you will still need to check entry requirements for the country you intend to visit such as number of vaccination doses, testing and isolation, and will still need to follow travel rules such as pre-departure testing.

Your Covid vaccination status can be viewed online on the NHS COVID Pass website, where you can either download or print it as a PDF document.  This is the only valid digital vaccination status available; any alternative services claiming to offer proof of vaccine status for a fee are not legitimate.

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Health Minister Eluned Morgan said: “I’m pleased that people in Wales can now access their vaccination status via the NHS COVID Pass if they need to travel urgently and have completed their vaccine course.

“It’s important to remember that the Welsh Government advice on travel hasn’t changed, and people should only consider international travel if absolutely essential.”

People in Wales can now access their vaccination status on their phone, tablet or laptop using the digital NHS COVID Pass. Work is ongoing to integrate England’s NHS App and NHS Wales systems to allow people in Wales to use it.

People can request a bilingual NHS COVID Pass letter by calling 0300 303 5667.

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Cardiff Airport

Low-cost airline Vueling launch new Cardiff to Paris flights

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Low-cost airline Vueling has announced a new service from Cardiff to Paris, taking off on 2nd November 2021 – with flights starting from less than £10!

The route will operate twice a week with flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights are now on sale and available to book.

The news comes as a result Vueling’s acquisition of slots at Paris Orly, enabling the airline to expand and operate 32 new routes from November. Cardiff’s inclusion in this expansion is great news for passengers wanting to re-unite with friends and relatives, explore Paris on a city break, and for business and sports travel.

Since the collapse of Flybe in 2019, it has been Cardiff Airport’s priority to re-instate key routes lost due to the impact of the pandemic. Earlier this year, routes to Belfast and Edinburgh resumed, operated by Eastern Airways and Loganair, and Ryanair will be launching a 4-weekly service to Dublin from the end of October.

Flights to Paris Orly are currently on sale at special fares, with flights available for under £10.

Spencer Birns, CEO at Cardiff Airport said: “We are delighted that Vueling has stepped in to provide a much-needed service to Paris from Cardiff Airport.  The announcement will be welcome news for our customers wanting to travel to visit family, to explore one of the world’s greatest cities, and of course for large sporting events. Paris is also hugely popular with families wanting to visit Disneyland, and it is fantastic that this will once again be easily accessible for passengers. 

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“I’d like to thank Vueling for their continued confidence and partnership with Cardiff Airport, and we very much look forward to launching the route later this year.”

The Cardiff-Paris route will be the fourth route in Vueling’s Cardiff programme, which currently consists of scheduled flights to Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Alicante.

(Lead image: Cardiff Airport)

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Tourism

Welsh Government confirms international travel rules alignment with rest of UK

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The Welsh Government has confirmed it will merge the green and amber travel lists into one and remove the requirement for pre-departure testing for those fully vaccinated.

The changes are intended to be made by October 4th in alignment with the new UK Government system.

A decision on moving away from PCR tests is still to be made but the Welsh Government has outlined its opposition to the change and is calling on the UK Government to reverse its decision.

Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services, said: “We have regularly called for a careful approach to international travel to prevent coronavirus being re-imported into the UK, especially new and emerging variants which may not respond to the vaccines.

“The decision to move away from PCR tests from returning travellers on day two is concerning. This test, combined with genetic sequencing of all positive tests, is a vital part of our surveillance for coronavirus and protects our borders from the virus.

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“We recognise the communication and enforcement challenges in having different testing requirements, and continue to thoroughly examine the evidence for a Wales-only testing regime, but the strongest solution to protect public health is for the UK Government to reinstate UK-wide testing.”

The Welsh Government is also considering which countries to expand the vaccine certification recognition system to over the coming weeks.

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Haverfordwest

New conservation management plan adopted for Haverfordwest Castle

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Pembrokeshire County Council’s ambitions to develop a new flagship heritage attraction project at Haverfordwest Castle have moved a step closer following the approval of a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the site. 

Formally adopted by Cabinet, the CMP has undergone consultation with tourism and heritage professionals and the broader public. This plan is a key document that will guide the protection and enhancement of the site’s significance.

Cllr Paul Miller, Pembrokeshire’s Cabinet Member for the Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, said he was delighted the CMP had been approved.

“Haverfordwest Castle is one of the County’s most under-utilised heritage assets despite being one of its most recognisable landmarks,” he said.

“The approval of the CMP will help to ensure that we follow the correct procedures as we work towards developing the site as a heritage attraction that will tell the story of Pembrokeshire.”

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This site contains three listed buildings and a scheduled monument, and is located within the Haverfordwest Conservation Area. The Conservation Management Plan will guide the care and celebration of these heritage assets during development and into the future.

Subject to external funding applications, the proposals for the site will be developed in four stages to include:

  • More green space for visitors through gardens developed on the burgage plots on the South banks of the Castle and the creation of a new walk around the outside of the Castle walls with new access from the North and South;
  • A new route from Bridge Street to the perimeter walkway, that will open up a stunning view of the castle;
  • A new events space for outdoor performance in the castle’s Inner Bailey;
  • Refurbishment of the Gaol to host a flagship visitor attraction.

“Regeneration of the Castle is anticipated to breathe new life into our valuable local heritage, creating a more attractive place where people can spend time. It will also provide Haverfordwest and Pembrokeshire with a quality destination for visitors,” added Cllr Miller.

“As the County Councillor for the Castle Ward I welcome this news and am very pleased of the approval of a Conservation Management Plan for the site,” added Cllr Thomas Tudor.

“Together with the new Castle Square and Castle Lake link, this can only further develop and enhance this part of Haverfordwest to the benefit of its townspeople and visitors to the county town of Pembrokeshire, providing a beautiful green space for the community and visitors to enjoy.”

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(Lead image: Pembrokeshire Council)

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