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Covid pass for events & nightclubs announced

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People will have to show a NHS COVID Pass to enter nightclubs and attend events in Wales from next month, the First Minister announced today.

The measure is being introduced to help control the spread of coronavirus – cases are currently very high in Wales but the alert level will remain at zero for the next three weeks.

Announcing the outcome of the latest three-week review of the coronavirus regulations, the First Minister today encouraged everyone to work from home whenever possible and to make sure they are fully vaccinated.

Awareness and enforcement of other key Covid protection measures, including face coverings in indoor public places and on public transport, will be increased.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Across Wales, coronavirus cases have risen to very high levels over the summer as more people have been gathering and meeting. Tragically, more people are dying from this terrible virus.

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“The very strong advice we have from our scientific advisers is to take early action to prevent infections increasing further.

“The last thing we want is further lockdowns and for businesses to have to close their doors once again. That’s why we must take small but meaningful action now to control the spread of the virus and reduce the need for tougher measures later.”

The requirement to show an NHS COVID Pass will come into force from 11 October. It will mean all over-18s will need to have a NHS COVID Pass to enter:

  • Nightclubs
  • Indoor, non-seated events for more than 500 people, such as concerts or conventions
  • Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any setting or event with more than 10,000 people in attendance

People who are fully vaccinated in Wales can already download the NHS COVID Pass to securely show and share their vaccine status. It also allows people to show they have had a negative lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours.

First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced COVID passports for nightclubs in Wales.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: My message to you today is a simple but serious one – the pandemic is not over and we all need to take steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

“We have high levels of the virus in our communities and while our fantastic vaccination programme has helped stop thousands more people from becoming seriously ill or dying, the pressure on the NHS is increasing.

“We hope introducing the requirement to show a COVID pass will help keep venues and events – many of which have only recently started trading again – open.

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“Showing a COVID Pass is already part of our collective effort to keep businesses open with some major events, such as the successful Green Man Festival, using it. We will continue to work closely with all businesses affected to ensure a smooth introduction and operation of this system.

“We want to do everything we can to Keep Wales Safe as we head into the autumn.” 

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen Primary school issues warning after pupils as young as EIGHT are watching graphic violence on viral hit Netflix TV show Squid Game

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Richmond Primary School in Carmarthen has issued a warning to parents after reports of Year 4 children attending the school had either watched Squid Game on TV or had downloaded third-party apps associated with the show.

Squid Game has become a viral hit TV show for streaming platform Netflix – and is currently the service’s most-watched ever series.

The South Korean show however has high levels of gore, death, violence, and physical assault. It also has graphic depictions of suicide, murder, and sexual assault.

The plot is based on a group of adult debtors, thieves, and gamblers competing against each other in a series of childhood games for a grand cash prize. However, there is a dark twist to these seemingly innocent games – losing competitors are violently killed off in ways that grow more twisted as the games grow more intense.

A statement on Richard Primary School’s social media said that while Squid Game has a rating of 15+, children and young people are likely to know about the show via word of mouth and because it is so popular on social media. They may be unaware of the extent of gore, death, and violence the show contains. It also focuses on adult themes that are not appropriate for younger sensibilities.

For young people who live with mental health issues, they may be triggered by some of the content

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Mobile App

The “Squid Game Challenge” (also known as K-Game Challenge) is an app for smartphones and tablets that has been released for Android and iOS, and the two systems differ significantly on their age ratings for the game. The iTunes Store rates the app as 12+ (advising of “mild/infrequent horror/fear themes”), while the PEGI rating for Android is just 3+, which means that very young children might be able to download and play the game even with parental controls activated on their device or through Google Play.

The gameplay is frequently interrupted by pop-ups and ads (sometimes appearing while the user is rapidly tapping their screen while attempting to complete the challenge). This could easily lead to unwanted purchases or accidental visits to inappropriate sites beyond the app.

Warning for parents

Richmond Primary School warns: “As a parent or carer, keep a watchful eye on the content that your children are viewing. Speak to them openly and chat about how they have been spending time on their devices; let them ask questions too. Ensure that the parental controls are activated on your child’s device and that age-restricted child profiles are properly set up, as well as any on-demand services available through the family TV (such as Netflix, in this case) to prevent inappropriate content being streamed.

“If you see your child replicating the challenges from the show or hear them talking about scenes and characters from Squid Game, it would be a timely opportunity to discuss with them that the programme is not intended for children, that much of the content would be inappropriate for their age, and that the violence in the series is very realistic and often upsetting.”

(Lead image: Netflix)

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Rugby paywall sets “dangerous precedent”

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Plaid Cymru is calling for all Wales rugby games to be aired live on S4C following news that matches will only be accessible on Amazon Prime.

It’s been confirmed that fans of Welsh rugby will not be able to watch Wales’ autumn international matches on free-to-air television.

Matches will only be televised live on Amazon Prime, which sits behind a paywall.

This marks a change from previous matches, which have been available to watch live on S4C, which is free-to-air.

The reason the change has been made is because Amazon Prime will be providing commentary in both English and Welsh languages.

Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson for sport, Heledd Fychan MS said, “This sets a dangerous precedent for the future of sports broadcasting in Welsh. It also raises questions about the future of S4C. Not only have S4C lost the right to broadcast Welsh rugby matches, but it puts in place a model that could be adopted by other broadcasters in the future.

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“The red button offer from Amazon is a gesture at best. If you do not already pay for Amazon prime, you will still need to pay to watch in Welsh. And what about pubs and clubs that have always shown the games in Welsh?

“All games from our national teams should be free to watch on S4C. Welsh rugby belongs to everyone in Wales – we must not be priced out of our own culture.”

(Lead image: Crown Copyright)

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Arts and Entertainment

Big screen blockbusters are back at Vue Swansea

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Cinema is back and better than ever as even more spectacular new releases are lined up in the coming weeks at Vue. 

Highly anticipated sequel Venom: Let There Be Carnage, will be showing at the cinema on York Street from Friday 15 October, and fans can book tickets now.

Tom Hardy returns to the big screen as one of Marvel’s greatest and most twisted characters, the lethal protector Venom. After finding a host body in investigative reporter Eddie Brock, the alien symbiote must face a new enemy, Carnage, the alter ego of serial killer Cletus Kasady. Directed by Andy Serkis, the film also stars Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris and Woody Harrelson, in the role of the villain Cletus Kasady/Carnage. 

Venom in VENOM: LET THERE BE CARNAGE. (Image: Sony)

Epic science fiction film Dune will be landing at Vue on Thursday 21 October. Dune follows the story of a mythic and emotionally charged hero ‘Dune’, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding. With captivating visuals, mesmerising music by Hanns Zimmer, and talented actors including Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya Chani, this film was meant to be seen on the big screen in all its glory.  

(L-r) TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET as Paul Atreides and REBECCA FERGUSON as Lady Jessica Atreides in Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ action adventure “DUNE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (PHOTO CREDIT: Chiabella James)

Fans of Wes Anderson will also be excited by the arrival of his latest work, The French Dispatch, on the big screen from Friday 22 October. Anderson’s ninth collaboration with Bill Murray and eighth collaboration with Owen Wilson, accompanied by an all-star cast, tells the story of journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper, in a fictional twentieth century French city, who write for The French Dispatch Magazine. 

(From L-R): Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne in the film THE FRENCH DISPATCH. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2020 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

With more blockbusters arriving in the coming weeks, it is expected to bring even more people back to the cinema for the first time, as research from Vue’s Fulfilment Report, in conjunction with Kokoro, revealed that over a third of British cinema-goers have returned to the big screen. 

The Fulfilment Report is an ongoing, year-long study into the nation’s relationship with the big screen and escapism, and has also found that two-thirds of cinema-goers say watching a film on the big screen would have a positive impact on their mental state that day, with three quarters believing the experience offers a genuine escape from “pings” and notifications.  

Eduardo Leal, head of screen content at Vue Entertainment, said: “We’ve got a packed line-up of exciting new movies for everyone to enjoy over the autumn. 

“Close behind the long-awaited release of No Time to Die, we have a combination of dramatic new films and blockbuster titles that keeps on coming. We’re delighted to provide another way for everyone to switch off from the outside world and get lost in great stories together instead.”  

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Tickets are available from myvue.com

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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