The pushback against vaccine passports continues to gather momentum. Earlier, we published a report on an open letter sent to the Prime Minister – signed by over 1,000 of the UK’s Christian leaders – warning against the introduction of “medical apartheid” under a vaccine passport scheme. Now, a new charter, “Open for All“, has been signed by more than 60 restaurant owners and other hospitality figures, telling Boris that they will not force customers to show Covid Status Certificates as a condition of entry. The Telegraph has the story.
In a letter to the Prime Minister… the signatories make clear their opposition to Covid status certification being used in hospitality settings.
“We will not be forcing our patrons to show us any documentation referring to health status to gain entry,” one line of the letter reads.
The intervention is a shot across the bows of the Government as ministers consider whether to require restaurants and pubs to check the Covid status of customers.
Among the signatories are the CEOs of Rekom UK, which runs 42 nightclubs, and Tokyo Industries, which runs clubs, festivals and bars. Others backing the letter include senior figures at venues such as The Hippodrome Casino, Electric Star Pubs, Bocca de Lupo, Proud Cabaret, Brindisa and Burger&Lobster.
Alan Miller, the co-founder of Night Time Industries Association, who organised the letter, said: “The British people have been diligent and remarkable over this last year, and we’ve all waited for so long to get back to normal.
“We were told in January that vaccines were our way out, and that we were on a one-way road to freedom. It is a far cry from freedom if we are put in the position where pubs, clubs, festivals, shows and venues of any kind are forced to demand health papers. We won’t be doing it.”
The letter congratulates the Government for its successful vaccine rollout but insists that there are many reasons why some people may choose not to get a Covid vaccine, adding that it would be wrong for venues to ask customers to present health-related documents. It reads:
We have no axe to grind politically and many of us think the vaccine rollout has been tremendous for those who wish to take it.
We also know that for many reasons some will not have a vaccine.
Furthermore, we do not believe it is right that we, as premises and promoters, should demand to see proof of medical records or health status. The majority of people in the UK have chosen to be vaccinated.
There are many practical and logistical issues for us alongside civil liberty and discrimination considerations more broadly for society if venues or events insist on seeing any kind of health-related documents.
The Telegraph‘s report is worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Julia Hartley-Brewer has urged all hospitality business owners to sign up to the declaration to “[ensure] vaccine passports never happen”.