Vaccine passports on the cards for autumn

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Vaccine passports: pubs could require customers to show proof of Covid immunity on entry if the country encounters rising infections in the colder months, it has been reported (image: Getty/izusek)
Vaccine passports: pubs could require customers to show proof of Covid immunity on entry if the country encounters rising infections in the colder months, it has been reported (image: Getty/izusek)

Related tags: England, Coronavirus, Nhs, Boris johnson, lockdown, Health and safety, Legal

Vaccine passports could be introduced to prevent pub shutdowns in England this autumn, it has been reported.

Pubgoers could be required to show proof of protection from coronavirus on entry in the autumn months, Downing Street sources have told The Times​ newspaper.

Customers would be asked to display evidence of their vaccination status, a recent negative test result or proof they had immunity from recently having the virus.

Ministers decided to shelve proposals to introduce vaccine passports this summer after a Cabinet Office review.

However, the review suggested Covid-status certification could be used if the country was faced with the possibility of unsustainable pressure on the NHS this autumn or winter.

Keep venues open

“In autumn vaccine passports could become an important tool that will allow us to keep things open,” The Times’​ Whitehall source was quoted as saying.

Ministers are considering the plans after concerns that vaccination uptake has slowed down among young people, according to the newspaper.

“If we can show real benefits of getting vaccinated in terms of everyday life then it could be quite a useful tool,” another Downing Street source was quoted.

The number of first doses given has halved in two weeks with fewer than 100,000 a day being administered on average - for the first time since April.

The scheme would incentivise the public to get both jabs and any booster doses, ministers believe.

Hospitality bosses slammed initial reports that a vaccine passport scheme could be introduced when pubs reopened after the third lockdown this spring.

Costly scheme

Operators said it would be costly as staff would be needed to check customers on entry and that proposals ran the risk of discriminating against customers who could not receive a vaccine for medical reasons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to confirm remaining lockdown restrictions will be eased on 19 July in a press conference tonight.

He will urge the public to use their own judgement to proceed with caution and outline that cases are expected to rise with the easing of restrictions.

Speaking ahead of the Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning."

Related topics: Health & safety

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