Vaccine passports will be compulsory to enter packed venues such as nightclubs in an extraordinary U-turn announced by Boris Johnson hours after clubs were allowed to open for the first time in 16 months.
In a move that provoked an immediate backlash from Conservative backbenchers and the entertainment sector, the prime minister said that from late September, once all adults have had the chance to receive two jabs, Covid vaccine certificates would be made mandatory in England
“I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their 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,” he said.
Unlike at pilot events, where customers have been allowed to show evidence of a negative test,
they will have to prove they have been double-jabbed amid concerns in government about vaccine uptake among young people.
Approximately 35% of 18- to 30-year-olds are unvaccinated, he said.
Addressing younger people directly, Johnson said: “Some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.”
Less than 18 hours after almost all Covid restrictions were formally scrapped, allowing clubs to open and putting an end to mandatory masks and social distancing, the prime minister expressed concern about what he called the “continuing risk posed by nightclubs”. From just after midnight on Sunday, thousands of revellers were pictured dancing at clubs across the country as they celebrated “freedom day”.
Heather Stewart Political editor (The Gardian)
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