Controversial Covid vaccine passports set to be rolled out this month, minister confirms

VACCINE passports are likely to be required for large venues by the end of this month, a government minister has confirmed.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 9:54 am
Updated Sunday, 5th September 2021, 9:54 am

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said checking people’s vaccine status is the ‘right thing to do’ to ensure the whole economy remains open.

Speaking to Sky today he said: ‘We are looking at, by the end of September when everyone has had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, for the large venues, venues that could end up causing a real spike in infections, where we need to use the certification process.

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Portsmouth nightclub Astoria warns of lost trade and rejected punters over Covid...

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Re-opening night of Astoria nightclub in Portsmouth after the Gov have relaxed the Covid restrictions. Pictured are revellers having fun on the night. Picture: Sam Stephenson

‘If you look at what the FA have done, they’ve done so brilliantly in terms of checking vaccine status to reopen football.

‘That is the sort of right thing to do and we are absolutely on track to continue to make sure that we do that.

‘There’s a reason for that … the reason being is that, I, as does the prime minister, want to make sure the whole economy remains open.

‘The worst thing we can do for those venues is to have a sort of open-shut-open-shut strategy because we see infection rates rise because of the close interaction of people, that’s how the virus spreads, if people are in close spaces in large numbers we see spikes appearing.

‘The best thing to do then is to work with the industry to make sure that they can open safely and sustainably in the long term, and the best way to do that is to check vaccine status.’

To gain entry to venues people who are double jabbed will be able to prove their status via the NHS app.

It comes as nightclub owners in Portsmouth raised concerns that the scheme would impact their trade.

Speaking to The News last week, Astoria owner Alistair Ritchie said: ‘This is going to have a negative impact on an industry that has been among the worst hit throughout the pandemic.

‘Our businesses are being used as a bribe to force people to get a Covid-19 jab, which was originally described as an optional jab.’

Government figures show as of September 3, 130,096 people in Portsmouth had both jabs – or 66.9 per cent of those eligible.

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