Tories shelve plan to make students get double jabbed before returning to class

Ministers had floated the idea of making it compulsory for students to prove they are fully vaccinated to attend lectures or return to their halls amid concerns about take-up among young people

Boris Johnson is said to be concerned about vaccine uptake among young people
Boris Johnson is said to be concerned about vaccine uptake among young people

Plans to make it compulsory for students to prove they are fully vaccinated before attending lectures in September have been dropped.

Downing Street had floated the idea of making it mandatory for students to have had both jabs before allowing them to return to their halls or go to class.

Education Minister Vicky Ford and No10 failed to rule out the idea last week – and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said a decision would be taken in September.

But it is now understood that the idea has been shelved amid a furious backlash from Tory MPs and concern from universities that the plan is unworkable.

Boris Johnson is said to be alarmed by levels of vaccine take-up among younger people, which has slowed in recent weeks.

Vaccine passports will be mandatory for nightclubs in the autumn, the PM has said


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Official figures show 67% of people aged 18 to 29 in England have received a first dose.

In an attempt to drive up vaccination rates, young people will be offered discounts on food and taxi rides to encourage them to get jabbed.

Ride-hailing services Uber and Bolt, and Deliveroo and Pizza Pilgrims are among firms that will offer rewards to young people who get the vaccine under new Government plans.

The PM performed a major u-turn on vaccine passports last month, when he revealed that people would be forced to prove their Covid status to go to nightclubs in September.

He said: “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.”

It comes after the NHS app was updated so it can be used as a vaccine passport in the UK.

A section has now appeared on the app for “domestic” use, allowing people to get a NHS Covid Pass through testing, full vaccination, natural immunity or an exemption.

Mr Johnson is facing a backlash from Tory MPs over the use of vaccine passports, which could trigger a Commons revolt in the autumn if the plans are brought forward.

But Mr Raab hinted last week that the plan could be a tactic to encourage people to get vaccinated.

The Foreign Secretary told the BBC: “I was in France earlier this week. We’ve seen when they signalled in various different areas that you would need double vaccination in order to proceed in one or other area you got a big surge of people getting the double vaccinations.

“It is a little bit of coaxing and cajoling.”


See also  Budget 2021: Extra £1.6bn for UK's Covid vaccination rollout


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