Plans to introduce vaccine passports in England for nightclubs have been scrapped by the UK government, Sajid Javid has confirmed. The UK Health secretary told the BBC yesterday (12 September) about the shelving of the plans after UK Prime minister Boris Johnson had previously announced members of the public would be required to show proof they have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in order to gain entry to clubs and other large-scale events in England.
The decision means covid measures in England will once again differ from those in Scotland, where a motion on the introduction of Covid passports was passed in the Scottish parliament last week, while a decision is expected in Wales this week. In Northern Ireland, Stormont ministers are still to reach an official position.
Javid said, “It’s fair to say, I think, most people probably instinctively don’t like the idea. I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity.”
But he added that the idea would nevertheless be kept “in reserve as a potential option.”
The Night Time Industries Association warned the plans could have crippled the industry and seen nightclubs facing discrimination cases. The industry body has welcomed the U-turn, saying it hoped businesses could now plan with some certainty and start to rebuild the sector and regain customers’ confidence.
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said, “Very welcome confirmation from the health secretary that vaccine passports will not be going ahead, listening to our concerns about impact on jobs, businesses and customers as well as scientific concerns about efficacy. We will continue to ensure our venues and events are safe and mitigate risk.”