A UK government minister has again refused to rule out vaccine passports for pubs, while nightclub owners say a plan to impose the same rules on their venues is ‘shambolic,’ with some vowing to refuse to enforce it.
Yesterday, the UK celebrated ‘freedom day’, when all coronavirus restrictions were supposed to be lifted, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson dampened the mood by announcing anyone entering a nightclub from the end of September would have to be double jabbed.
With “crowded venues” also being subject to the same rules, the government is now indicating that busy pubs could also be forced to check people’s vaccine status on the door. Business minister Paul Scully told Sky News that ministers are “not saying crowded pubs at all,” but went on to say “we’re not ruling anything out” for busier premises.
“We’ve got to define it really carefully and we’ll do that in the coming months until we get there,” said Scully, indicating that more venues, including sporting events, could be added to the list.
However, the government’s plan to check vaccine status as a condition of entry for nightclubs was blasted by industry representatives, with some vowing to disobey the rules entirely. Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “The announcement from the prime minister that COVID passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs in September comes after his health secretary said only one week ago that they would not be compulsory. What an absolute shambles.”
“Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another chaotic U-turn that will leave nightclubs who have been planning for reopening for months will now have to make more changes to the way they operate – this is still a bad idea,” he added.