(Stefan Boscia | CityAm) – Vaccine passports are set to be made mandatory for nightclubs and mass events from September amidst low vaccine take-up among younger age groups.
Boris Johnson said once all adults have been given the chance to get both jabs by September they will be forced to show proof they are fully vaccinated to enter mass events.
Vaccine hesitancy among younger people has significantly slowed down the UK’s vaccine rollout in the past month.
New figures show that 35 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds have not had one vaccine yet – a far higher rate than any other age group.
“I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again – as they have elsewhere – but it does means nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry,” Johnson said.
“As we said last week, we reserve the right to mandate certification at any point, if it is necessary to reduce transmission. And I should serve notice now that by the end of September – when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed –we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
“Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.”
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi first made the announcement in the House of Commons, saying that being double-jabbed will be a “a condition of entry” for nightclubs from September.
“We are supporting the reopening of large crowded settings, such as nightclubs as we saw last night, with the use of the Covid pass as a condition of entry to reduce the risks of transmission,” Zahawi said.
“I encourage businesses…to use the Covid pass in the weeks ahead. We will be keeping a close watch on how it is used by venues and we reserve the right to mandate if necessary.”
Nightclubs reopened last night at 12.01am, however Covid vaccine passports are only optional at this point.
Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there is “no question [clubs] are an environment where spreading becomes easier” and that “I would expect with the opening of nightclubs we will see increases in cases and outbreaks”.
Covid cases are at around 50,000 cases a day and growing, however hospitalisations and deaths are increasing at a far slower rate.
Zahawi also confirmed that children aged between 12 and 17 who are considered clinically vulnerable to Covid-19 will be offered a vaccine.
The vaccines minister said 12 to 15-year-olds living with immunosuppressed adults will also be offered a jab, after a Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) report made the recommendation.
Children who were aged 16 and 17 who were considered vulnerable were already being offered the vaccine, with the JCVI report recommending this is extended to children from the age of 12.
Zahawi said this includes children with with “neuro-severe disabilities, Down syndrome, immunosuppressed and pronoun or multiple learning disabilities”.