Just six months ago, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi ruled out the introduction of “discriminatory” vaccine passports in England. “That’s not how we do things,” he said.
It didn’t take long, however, for the Government to tell nightclubs and other large venues that it was their “social responsibility” to check their customers’ Covid status. “Covid status” gave the impression that a negative test or recent recovery from the virus would be enough for entry to be granted as opposed to just full vaccination.
It has taken even less time for ministers to go one step further. With so few nightclubs having decided ‘voluntarily’ to introduce checks, Zahawi has announced that they will be forced to do so from late September. And this time, nothing short of full vaccination will open the door for entry, barring unvaccinated Brits from all such venues.
The Vaccines Minister said that Covid checks would be “discriminatory” if they were just based on vaccination only four days ago. So why the sudden change of mind?
Sky News has more.
Nadhim Zahawi said proof that people are fully vaccinated against coronavirus will be required for them to be allowed into nightclubs and other “crowded venues” from that point.
Until then, Covid passes – which show if you are vaccinated or have tested negative for the virus – will be required, although these are not mandatory for venues to operate.
In the Commons this afternoon, Mr Zahawi said: “By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold.
“So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
“Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”
Mr Zahawi promised that the plans would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny, and that there would be “appropriate” exemptions for people with a medical condition that means they cannot be vaccinated.
“We will always look at the evidence available and do all we can to ensure people can continue to do the things they love,” he added.
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