Hospitality industry leaders have indicated that they are prepared to pursue legal action against the Government over the introduction of vaccine passports at nightclubs and other large venues, telling the Health Secretary in a letter that the plans are “highly likely to be unlawful”. The Sunday Telegraph has the story.
The new rules, announced by Boris Johnson on Monday, are due to come into effect from September when all over-18s have been offered two Covid vaccines.
From this point, the Prime Minister said, “proof of a negative test” will “no longer be enough” to secure entry.
A group of industry tycoons has written to Health Secretary Sajid Javid, warning him that introducing vaccine passports without “a proper and adequate consultation process” is “highly likely to be unlawful”.
They argue the plans could have “a discriminatory effect on grounds of race”, and risk encouraging illegal raves that lack safety arrangements.
The letter was written by Hugh Osmond, Founder of Punch Taverns and Director of Various Eateries, and signed by Michael Kill, Peter Marks and Stephen Thomas, who head the Night Time Industries Association, REKOM U.K. and The Jam House, respectively.
REKOM UK runs 42 bars and nightclubs across Britain, while The Jam House is a popular music venue in Birmingham. …
The letter argues that the Government must initiate “a proper and adequate consultation process” with those “involved in the running of the night-time economy”.
It warns that otherwise “any decision to introduce new rules would be highly likely to be unlawful”.
It says: “Mandatory vaccine certification as a condition of entry to any venue will impact disproportionately on younger people, who are less likely to be vaccinated than those in older age groups.
“That impact is further exacerbated when the only venues currently suggested to be affected are nightclubs, whose customers are already likely to be primarily younger adults.
“It is also well known that levels of vaccination are lower in some ethnic groups than others, and there is therefore likely to be a discriminatory effect on grounds of race as well.” …
Mr Osmond accused the Government of “arbitrary” decision making and called for decisions to be based on “evidence not prejudice”.
He said: “Mandatory Covid Status Certification would strike at the heart of our liberal democracy, create a two tier society, discriminate against society’s already most marginalised groups and disproportionately affect young people who enjoy and work in this industry – who have already suffered intolerable burdens on behalf of society over the last eighteen months.”
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Plans to introduce vaccine passport checks aren’t just potentially unlawful but illogical, says Hugh Osmond. He points out that, under these plans: “If you are fully vaccinated but still have Covid, you can go to a nightclub. But if you test negative but are not vaccinated, you can’t.”