Plans to introduce vaccine passports for access into nightclubs and large events in England will not go ahead, the health secretary has said.
Plans to introduce vaccine passports for access into nightclubs, Sajid Javid told the BBC: “We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it. “It was thought the plan, which came under criticism from venues and some MPs, would be introduced at the end of this month. Just a week ago, the vaccines minister had defended the scheme as the “best way” to keep the night industry open.
Under the scheme, people would have been required to show proof – whether of double vaccination, a negative Covid test, or finishing self-isolating after a positive PCR test – in order to gain entry to clubs and other crowded events.
The UK government had faced pressure from a number of its own Tory MPs, as well as from nightclubs and the events sector, to ditch plans for vaccine passports in England.
First, there was a hint they were pushing ahead. Last week, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said they would be required in nightclubs and other indoor venues in England by the end of the month.
Then came the row-back. On Friday, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said they would “almost certainly” be necessary for nightclubs this autumn but said he’d prefer a more limited use of them.
By Sunday at 08:30 BST, the health secretary said on Sky News that the government hoped to avoid having them, and within the next hour told the BBC they will not be going ahead with plans.
Clearly, there has been a debate within the government itself about their use but a decision has, for now, been made – even if the option will be kept in “reserve”.