Hope for night-time economy as Government chooses to hold vaccine certificates 'in reserve'

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Hope for night-time economy as Government chooses to hold vaccine certificates 'in reserve'

Related tags Vaccine passport Night time economy Coronavirus

Health Secretary Sajid Javid has said the Government no longer plans to go ahead with introducing so-called 'vaccine passports' for crowded venues in England later this month.

Despite another Government minister saying just last week​ that Covid vaccine certificates would soon be required for entry into nightclubs and other mass indoor venues, Javid announced yesterday (12 September) that the scheme had been shelved.

Speaking on BBC's Andrew Marr Show​, he said: "We just shouldn't be doing things for the sake of it or because others are doing, and we should look at every possible intervention properly."

Downing Street has since stressed that the plan will be kept 'in reserve' should it be needed in the months ahead, insisting that vaccine passports are still a 'first-line defence' against a winter wave of Covid-19.

Unlike during the various pilot events for mass gatherings that took place earlier this year, where attendees were allowed to show either proof of vaccination or a negative test, the 'vaccine passport' scheme would have made full vaccination the sole condition of entry.

The decision to not proceed with the scheme in England has been welcomed by the hospitality sector, in particular those affiliated with the night-time economy.

Michael Kill, CEO Night Time Industries Association, said: "Following an intense political and public campaign by the NTIA, its members and wider industry supporters, we welcome the comments from the Health Secretary regarding the Government's decision to scrap the planned mandate of Covid Passports from the end of September.

"We hope that businesses will now be able to plan for the future with some degree of certainty, regain confidence from customers and the workforce and start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic.

"Our focus now is to ensure that the Chancellor's October budget allows us the financial space to rebuild and for the industry to maintain its exemplary record in support of the public health strategy keeping our staff and our customers safe."

Tomorrow (14 September), Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out the Government's winter Covid plan, where he is expected to outline how vaccinations will provide Britain's main defence over the colder months.

According to a senior government source quoted by The Daily Telegraph​, the Prime Minister will tell the country: "This is the new normal - we need to learn to live with Covid.

"The vaccines are a wall of defence. The autumn and the winter do offer some uncertainty, but the prime minister is dead set against another lockdown."

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