Vaccine passports would be needed for nightclubs and sport under Covid Plan B
Vaccine passports will be required for those attending nightclubs, music venues, festivals and sports grounds in England under the Government’s autumn and winter contingency Plan B.
The proposal will only be introduced if the country faces a difficult winter with rising Covid cases in the colder months, the Government said.
It said on Monday it was confident Plan A would prevent the NHS from facing unsustainable pressure, but published its Plan B saying if it was needed, it would have to act quickly and adopt measures like vaccine certification at short notice.
A further 40 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Monday, bringing the UK total to 136,208, and there had been a further 37,960 lab-confirmed cases.
The Plan B proposals draw on the findings of a review into vaccine passports earlier this year, which concluded that certification could help keep events going and businesses open.
They set out how all visitors aged 18 and over to certain events could be required to be fully vaccinated.
The events listed are all nightclubs, and other venues open after 1am with alcohol, music, and dancing, and indoor events with 500 or more attendees where they are likely to stand and mix to a significant degree, or move around during the event, such as music venues or large receptions.
The plan also includes outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where they are likely to stand, or move around during the event, such as festivals, and any settings with 10,000 or more people, such as large sports and music stadia.
Staff aged 18 or over in settings could also be required to test regularly if they are not fully vaccinated or exempt.
The Government is asking for views from businesses, event organisers, and venue operators on its proposals by October 12.
Health minister Maggie Throup said: “Our autumn and winter plan puts us on a sure footing and gives the whole country the best possible chance of living with Covid-19 in the months ahead, without the need for unwanted social and economic restrictions.
“The vaccine programme has tilted the odds in our favour in our shared fight against this virus and while we are totally confident the careful steps we are taking will help rule out the need for mandatory vaccine certificates, we need to be prepared for all scenarios.
“We know these kinds of contingency plans will only work if businesses and the public get to have their say and I’m urging everyone who could have to use certification: give us your views, give us your ideas.”
The Government said it continues to encourage the voluntary use of certification and the NHS Covid Pass.
More than 200 events and venues used certification on a voluntary basis over the summer, including matches in the Premier League, festivals such as the Reading and Leeds Festivals and All Points East, some nightclubs, and the BBC Proms.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said earlier this month that pressures on A&E and increasing hospital admissions could trigger the Plan B.
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