Ministers confirm vaccine passports WILL be required for large venues

Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues, arguing the documents are the ‘best way’ to avoid winter Covid closures. 

The Vaccine Minister said the Government is concerned large venues ‘could end up causing a real spike in infections’ because of groups of people mixing in close proximity.

He said the ‘worst thing’ for those venues would be for surging coronavirus case numbers to result in an ‘open shut, open shut strategy’ and the ‘best way’ to ensure they can remain open for the long term ‘is to check vaccine status’. 

Boris Johnson announced back in July that being double-jabbed would be made an entry requirement for all nightclubs in England by the end of September. 

He also signalled the requirement would likely be imposed on other large venues.

Many Tory MPs are vehemently against the documents being used, with the Prime Minister facing a significant rebellion on the issue.  

Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues, arguing the documents are the 'best way' to avoid winter closures

Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues, arguing the documents are the 'best way' to avoid winter closures

Nadhim Zahawi today confirmed vaccine passports will be required to gain entry to large venues, arguing the documents are the ‘best way’ to avoid winter closures

Mr Zahawi’s comments on vaccine passports came as: 

  • The Vaccine Minister insisted no decisions have been made about jabs for 12 to 15 year olds, with the UK’s chief medical officers currently examining the matter after the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation opted not to recommend the move on health grounds alone. 
  • Mr Zahawi guaranteed that parents will be asked for consent should the jabs be recommended for children. 
  • Mr Zahawi vowed to do ‘everything in my power’ to avoid another national lockdown. 
  • Sajid Javid is reportedly planning to make full vaccination a condition of employment for all NHS staff. 
  • Former prime minister Gordon Brown said coronavirus will ‘come back to haunt’ the West unless vaccination rates in African are improved. 
  • Government scientific adviser Professor Peter Openshaw said he was ‘a little surprised’ at the JCVI’s decision.

Mr Johnson is expected to face a considerable Conservative rebellion if he does push ahead with his vaccine passports plan. 

The Prime Minister announced back in July that they would be required in nightclubs. 

He said at the time: ‘I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere. But it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing.

‘As we said last week, we do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it’s necessary to reduce transmission.

‘And I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over 18s have had their chance to be double jabbed we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.’

The Government has faced mounting Tory backbench anger over the vaccine passports plan, with critics arguing the documents are unnecessary and infringe on individual freedoms.  

Mr Zahawi was asked this morning if the Government had made up its mind on the issue. 

He told Sky News: ‘We are looking at by the end of September, when everyone has had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated for the large venues, venues that could end up causing a real spike in infections, where we need to use the certification process.

‘You look at what the FA have done, have done so brilliantly, in terms of checking vaccine status to reopen football, that is the sort of right thing to do and we are absolutely on track to continue to make sure that we do that.

‘There is a reason for that, the reason being that I, as does the Prime Minister, want to make sure the whole economy remains open.

‘The worst thing we can do for those venues is to have a sort of open shut, open shut strategy because we see infection rates rise because of the close interaction of people, that is how the virus spreads, if people are in close spaces in large numbers, we see spikes appearing.

‘The best thing to do then is to work with the industry to make sure that they can open safely and sustainably in the long term and the best way to do that is to check vaccine status.’



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