UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced that the government has dropped its plans for the need to have domestic vaccine passports to be used upon entry to nightclubs and other crowded venues, Reuters reported on Sunday.
Javid also stressed that he did not anticipate any more lockdowns due to COVID-19. The government has been relying heavily on having vaccinated a huge sum of its population to be protective enough against the virus.
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The cabinet minister’s remarks come as the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to outline how the government intends to proceed with their COVID-19 strategy and manage the “challenges” presented by it in the upcoming autumn and winter months at a press conference this week.
“Now that we’re entering autumn and winter … the prime minister this week will be setting out our plans to manage COVID over the coming few months and in that we will be making it clear that our vaccine program is working,” Javid told Sky News.
He told the BBC he was not “anticipating any more lockdowns” but would not take the measure off the table, that the government would not go ahead with vaccine passports to allow people to attend mass events and he wanted to “get rid of” PCR tests for travelers as soon as possible.
On scrapping plans to introduce vaccine passports for entering crowded places such as nightclubs and other events in the UK, Javid said that the government “shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it.”
“It’s fair to say most people don’t instinctively like the idea,” he added.
“Whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
The government defended the policy a few days ago, stating that the plan to introduce the measure by the end of the month was still in place, with details to be announced “in the coming weeks.”
Javid said the government would remain “cautious”, but “the vaccine program, our testing program, our surveillance program, the new treatments … this is all our wall of defense and whilst there’s a lot of virus around, it is working.”
The night-time industry welcomed the U-turn on vaccine passports, with Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) trade body, saying he hoped businesses would be able to “start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic.”