Boris Johnson tonight refused to rule out a system of vaccine passports for pubs in England.
The Prime Minister faces fresh questions after he announced he was “serving notice” on nightclubs and other crowded venues that vaccines will be required to enter.
From the end of September, being fully-vaccinated will be a “condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather”, the Prime Minister declared.
He did not say exactly how that would work, which venues would be affected, or how it would be policed.
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And asked to guarantee it would not apply to pubs, he refused to, instead saying he didn’t “want” to see that happen.
The NHS app allows people to show proof of either a double-dose vaccine, a recent negative test, or natural immunity. But currently it is only voluntary and nightclubs do not have to demand it as a condition of entry.
Mr Johnson appears to be suggesting it will be compulsory in future and venues will only accept vaccine status, not the other two factors.
Asked if the nightclubs policy was the “thin end of the wedge”, and he could definitively say no one will be asked to “show their papers” to get a pint in a pub this year, the PM replied: “I don’t want to get a situation where people are asked to reduce papers to go anywhere, to enjoy any of the pleasures that they do.
“And so I certainly don’t want to see passports for pubs.
“But where the settings [are] closed, crowded with close social contact, we reserve a right to do what’s necessary to do what’s necessary to protect the public.”
Vaccine Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi first revealed the news of autumn nightclub measures in the Commons today.
Minutes before the No10 press conference began, he said everyone 18 and over would have had the chance to be double jabbed by October.
His comments appear a contrast to thoughts on nightclubs this morning, when the PM’s official spokesman said: “As far as I’m aware those nightclubs are operating within the rules.”