Boris Johnson to press ahead with Covid vaccine passports in nightclubs despite backlash

PM’s spokesperson says ministers will come forward with details on scheme ‘in coming weeks’

Conrad Duncan
Wednesday 01 September 2021 00:27
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Related video: Boris Johnson urged 16- and 17-year-olds to get a Covid vaccine last month

Boris Johnson’s government intends to press ahead with plans to introduce Covid vaccine passports for nightclubs from the end of September, despite concerns from MPs and leaders in the hospitality industry.

The prime minister’s official spokesperson said on Tuesday that the plans for the scheme, which was announced in July, are still in place.

“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,” they said.

The scheme will see members of the public required to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry into domestic venues and events.

It follows speculation that the plans might have been dropped after a backlash from Conservative backbench MPs and industry leaders, who have warned that such rules could see venues lose money.

On Tuesday, Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said his party would oppose the scheme, while Labour has previously criticised the plans as “unworkable”.

“As predicted the government has reheated their Covid ID card scheme,” Sir Ed wrote on Twitter.

“They are divisive, unworkable and expensive and the Liberal Democrats will oppose them.”

The admission came as The Guardian reported that new data showed some people would be more reluctant to get vaccinated if such passports were introduced.

Analysis of 16,527 people, 14,543 of whom had not yet had both vaccine doses, found that almost 90 per cent (87.8 per cent) 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 that 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 would be significant if scaled up to the whole population, according to The Guardian.

The research, which will be published in the Lancet journal EClinicalMedicine, also warns that the proposals are potentially divisive.

“This creates a risk of creating a divided society wherein the majority are relatively secure but there remain pockets of lower vaccination where outbreaks can still occur,” the authors wrote in the paper.

Additional reporting by PA

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