England scraps vaccine passport plans for entertainment venues

Published on : Monday, September 13, 2021

England

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid recently announced that England has decided to cancel plans to introduce vaccine passports for accessing nightclubs and large events in England. He mentioned that authorities should not do things for “the sake of it.” The latest move comes after the vaccine minister defended the scheme for keeping UK’s night industry open.

However, the plan also faced several criticisms especially from some ministers. The Prime Minister’s office has mentioned that the scheme will now be in reserve and will be used if required during autumn or winter. As per the scheme, people would have been required to show proof a double vaccination certificate, a negative Covid test or completion of self-isolating after a positive PCR test – in order to gain entry to clubs and other crowded events.

The Night Time Industries Association had said the plans could have crippled the industry further and led to nightclubs facing discrimination cases. The industry body welcomed the latest announcement, saying it hoped businesses could now plan with some certainty and start to rebuild the sector. The Music Venue Trust, which aims to protect grassroots venues, also said it was glad vaccine passports would not be going ahead, describing the plan as “problematic”.

Minister Javid said during a recent interview that should not do things because others are doing and authorities should look at every possible intervention properly. He also mentioned that he never like the idea of asking people to show papers to do daily life activities. He announced that authorities looked at the plan properly and while they have kept it in reserve as a potential option, they have decided not to go ahead with vaccine passports as of now.

He further denied about claims that government was scared after the criticism of the policy and mentioned that

passports were not needed because of other things in the “wall of defence” including high vaccine uptake, testing, surveillance and new treatments. He also mentioned that he wanted to do away with PCR test and is currently seeking advice on the issue.

He also mentioned that he was not expecting new lockdowns in England although it would not be responsible “to take everything off the table”. Meanwhile, he also informed that the UK’s chief medical officers advised 12 to 15-year-olds to be vaccinated and said that that schools are already preparing for it and authorities are ready to begin the rollout within a week.

Meanwhile, Scotland has decided to undertake a different approach to England introducing a vaccine passport for 18+ individuals for entry to nightclubs and many large events from October. In Wales, ministers are likely to decide next week whether to introduce the scheme as there are no current plans for a similar scheme in Northern Ireland. As of Sunday, UK reported 29,173 new cases of coronavirus and 56 deaths, according to government report.

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