Minister Refuses to Rule Out Forcing Pubs to Check Vaccine Passports

A minister has refused to rule out the prospect of the Government barring unvaccinated Brits from pubs.

Business Minister Paul Scully told Sky News that officials are “not saying crowded pubs at all” as part of plans to introduce vaccine passport checks at nightclubs and other large venues. This is hardly comforting, given the Vaccines Minister’s toing and froing on the matter. Scully confirmed that “we’re not ruling anything out” and admitted that more clarity is needed. Sky News has more.

When it was put to him that some pubs can be as crowded as nightclubs, Mr Scully told Sky News the Government has to “work on the definition” of “crowded venues” that will be covered by vaccine passports.

He said: “We’ve got to define it really carefully and we’ll do that in the coming months until we get there.”

Asked about the prospect of vaccine passports for pubs at a Downing Street news conference on Monday, Boris Johnson said he did not want a situation where people are asked to “produce papers” to get into pubs but did not rule it out.

The Prime Minister, who is currently isolating after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for Covid, said “I certainly don’t want to see passports for pubs” but in enclosed crowded places with close contact “we reserve a right to do what is necessary to protect the public”.

Mr Scully added that “a number of” sporting venues are already looking at requiring vaccine passports for entry. …

Some 35% of 18 to 30 year-olds – three million people – are unvaccinated, but the minister denied it was effectively a “bribe” to younger people to get them vaccinated, stressing the move was about stopping the NHS being “overwhelmed”.

“This is the right thing to do to make sure that we get on top of the transmission of cases,” Mr Scully said. …

[Labour’s Shadow Economic Secretary Pat McFadden] said Labour would examine the details of the Government’s proposals before deciding whether or not to support them.

Worth reading in full.

Stop Press: Mandatory Covid certification will be required for journalists to enter Downing Street, according to Harry Cole, Political Editor at the Sun. “And they wonder why there are fears nightclubs are just the thin end of the wedge?”