Vaccine passports will be required for nightclubs, mass events and large venues in England by the end of this month, according to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, who says the measure is necessary in order to prevent a fourth national lockdown later this year.
Despite strong opposition from a number of Tory MPs, Zahawi says the scheme is “the right thing to do” because large events – like football matches, concerts and business conferences – “could end up causing a real spike in infections” in the coming months.
“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,” Zahawi told Sky News. (continued below)
— Trevor Phillips on Sunday (@RidgeOnSunday) September 5, 2021
“If you look at what the FA have done, they’ve 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.”
According to the latest government data, 79.6% of the UK adult population has received their second dose of the vaccine. Zahawi said he wants to “make sure the whole economy remains open” and requiring certificates that prove an individual’s jab status is the “best way” to do that.
“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’s how the virus spreads. If people are in close spaces in large numbers we see spikes appearing,” he said.
“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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