COVID vaccine passports to start in England this month

pharmafile | September 6, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing  

The Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has confirmed that vaccine passports will be required in nightclubs and other indoor venues at the end of this month in England.

Zahawi said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that it was the right time to start the scheme for sites with large crowds as all over-18s will have been offered two jabs by then.

He said: “The best way we can keep those industries open in my view, in our view, is to work with the industry. One thing that we have learnt is that in large gatherings of people, especially indoors, the virus tends to spike and spread.”

Zahawi also indicated that the government’s plans for a COVID-19 vaccine booster programme for the most vulnerable, including all over 50s, was likely to go ahead.

Zahawi added: “When the evidence that you are presented is so clear cut and that we want to make sure the industry doesn’t have to go through [an]open-shut, open-shut sort of strategy, then the right thing to do is to introduce that by the end of September when all over 18-year-olds have had their two jabs.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman last week said the plans first unveiled in July remained in place, adding: “We set out broadly our intention to require vaccination for nightclubs and some other settings.”

However, there has been opposition to the passport plans from the Night Time Industries Association, who said plans for vaccine passports could “cripple the industry” and see night clubs facing discrimination cases.

Tory MPs have also spoken out against the plans on the COVID Recovery Group as well as the Liberal Democrats, whose leader, Ed Davey, described them as “divisive, unworkable and expensive”.

Scottish Labour has refused to support the plans for vaccine passports in Scottish venues, which Nicola Sturgeon has said would be the least restrictive way to keep people safe.

There are currently no plans for use of vaccine passports in Wales, and Northern Irish ministers have yet to announce a position on the scheme.

Kat Jenkins

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