Barely a day has passed since the reopening of nightclubs, and the government has now announced nightclubs/other large venues in England will be required to adopt a new vaccine passport entry policy.
The new policy will come into effect from the end of September, with a negative test or proof of recently having contracted covid, not deemed acceptable under the new rules.
The announcement came yesterday from vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi. Only last week, Boris Johnson had encouraged nightclubs to take part in the COVID Pass scheme, which would require attendees to provide either a negative COVID test, double vaccinated proof or have had the virus in the past 180 days demonstrating antibodies currently present. Although this was not a legal requirement, it was labelled a matter of “social responsibility” by the prime minister.
After this, the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) did a quick poll which showed 82.7% of venues would be ignoring the recommendations the government had suggested.
The prime minister and his government have since changed their tact & yesterday, Boris Johnson went on to say:
“By the end of September, everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold.
“So at that point, we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.”
The NTIA CEO Michael Kill released a statement in response to the latest announcement from the government, which said:
“So, ‘freedom day’ for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then…. 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.”
“The Government’s own report into vaccine passports found they were more trouble than they’re worth – so what could possibly explain the about U-turn, just as millions across the UK experience their first taste of a night out in a year and a half…?”
While it is not currently a legal requirement for nightclub and venue owners to present a vaccine passport, many are adopting their own health and safety measures to ensure events are safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Especially – given the recent rise in new cases, with the UK recording around 50,000 new cases each day and cases expected to continue to rise.