Revellers will need to show proof of their Covid-19 vaccination status to enter nightclubs from the end of September, Downing Street has confirmed.
The government will press ahead with plans despite having previously been met with criticism from politicians and the hospitality industry alike.
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What has the government said?
The passport scheme will mean members of the public will be required to show proof of a coronavirus vaccination to gain entry to domestic venues and events.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman confirmed the plans on Tuesday (31 August), stating: “We set out broadly our intention to require our vaccination for nightclubs and some other settings and we’ll be coming forward in the coming weeks with details for that.”
The plans were first announced by vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi back in July, who said that a negative Covid-19 test result would soon “no longer be sufficient” to prove that a person is Covid-safe.
Businesses were urged to start using the NHS Covid pass, with the government keeping a close watch on its use by venues.
The government proposed making proof of vaccination a condition of entry to certain venues and events by the end of September, as all adults aged 18 and over will have had the chance to receive both vaccine doses by this point, plus the additional two weeks for protection to take hold.
From the end of September onwards, two vaccine doses will be needed to enter nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
‘Divisive’ and ‘impractical’
While the government is yet to confirm a date for the passports to be introduced, along with a list of venues they will be required, it is expected the rules will be in place from the end of this month.
Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, has already said his party will oppose the scheme, labelling the passports as “divisive” and “unworkable”.
Mr Davey wrote on Twitter: “As predicted the Government has reheated their Covid ID card scheme.
“They are divisive, unworkable and expensive and the Liberal Democrats will oppose them.”
Labour has also previously hit out at the plans, calling it “costly, open to fraud and…impractical”, while 43 Conservative MPs have also said they would oppose them.
The criticism comes as The Guardian reported new data which revealed the introduction of vaccine passports would have little influence on people’s decision to get the jab.
Analysis of 16,527 people - 14,543 of whom had not yet had both vaccine doses - found that 87.8 per cent of this group said their decision to receive a second dose would not be affected by the introduction of the passport scheme.
Two thirds of the remaining 12.2 per cent suggested they would be less likely to get vaccinated if passports were introduced, while the remaining third said they would be more inclined.
The study’s lead author, Dr Alex de Figueiredo from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said these percentages become significant when scaled up to the whole population.
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