Following approval from the Government, NHS COVID-19 vaccination passes are now required for certain events and locations in Swindon.

In order to help prevent the spread of the new Omicron variant new measures have been intoduced and will be reviewed in early January.

Swindon businesses are required to check visitors' NHS COVID-19 vaccination passes or negative Lateral Flow Tests if the premises or event falls into one of these categories:

- Nightclubs, dancehalls and discotheques

- Other late night dance venues if:

The venue is open between 1am and 5am and

Serves alcohol after 1am and

Has a dancefloor and

Provides music (live or recorded)

Indoor events with 500 or more attendees, where attendees are likely to move around

Outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees, where attendees are likely to move around

Events with 10,000 or more attendees, indoor or outdoor.

Residents are encouraged to use the NHS App so that the relevant information can be provided when required.

Alternatively, people can get a COVID pass by uploading proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test to the NHS website or getting written proof of exemption from the NHS.

Swindon Borough Council’s licensing team is making contact with local businesses to confirm the arrangements they are putting in place to comply with the regulations and to provide advice when needed.

Along with the passes, face coverings must now be worn in a number of new places including on public transport, shops and event spaces such as theatres and cinemas.

The Council will continue to work with local partners to make sure the new guidelines are followed including conducting spot checks on the relevant businesses.

The COVID-19 vaccination booster programme has also been accelerated with everyone aged 18 and over able to book a booster if it has been more than three months since their second jab.

Steve Maddern, Swindon Borough Council’s Director of Public Health, said: “These new measures are very important to stop the spread of COVID-19 over the Christmas and New Year period."

“I would encourage everyone to follow the guidelines as closely as possible. Please wear masks where you need to, have the NHS app downloaded and get your vaccination booster as soon as possible.”