Boris Johnson performed a major u-turn on the policy, saying jab passports will be required later this year for nightclubs and ‘other venues where large crowds gather’
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The NHS app has been upgraded to allow it to be used as a vaccine passport in the UK as well as abroad.
A section has appeared on the app for “domestic” use in recent days, allowing people to get a NHS Covid Pass through testing, full vaccination, natural immunity or an exemption.
It states: “You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service”.
The app previously provided a Covid certificate for international travel or for the Government’s events research programme, which trialled mass gatherings at events like the Euros finals and the Brit Awards.
Boris Johnson performed a major u-turn last week by saying vaccine passports will be required to enter packed venues like nightclubs in the autumn – after previously resisting the idea.
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.”
Businesses are currently allowed to ask customers to prove their Covid status to enter a venue on a voluntary basis but it is not mandatory.
Ministers have also floated the idea of requiring students to get fully vaccinated before they can attend lectures or return to their halls in September.
Football fans could also be forced to prove they are fully jabbed before attending matches.
The Prime Minister will face a major backlash from Tory MPs if he presses ahead with making vaccine passports mandatory in the autumn.
But Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested that the move was a tactic to encourage people to get vaccinated as ministers ramp up efforts to boost sluggish take-up among younger people.
He told the Today programme: “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,” he added.
Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove took a harder stance this week when he branded vaccine refuseniks “selfish”.
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said young people should think of Covid-19 vaccines as “liberating”.
Speaking at a vaccination centre in Little Venice, London, he said that “the one area where we need to do more collectively” is to get 18 to 29-year-olds to take up the offer of a jab.
He said: “What I would say to that group of people is please get vaccinated for your own benefit, for your loved ones, but for your wider community.”
Asked about how widespread the requirement to show a vaccine passport might be, Mr Javid highlighted the planned introduction of their use for England’s nightclubs by the end of September.
He said: “For young people, they should think of vaccines as being liberating.
“Everyone wants to see a return to normal. We’re on that journey to normal and we’re doing it because of the vaccines.
“But for young people who want to travel, it really helps you to get vaccinated, and that’s the way things are heading and those young people who want those vaccines, they can get them right here and now across the country.”