politics

Vaccine passports 'not needed for mass gatherings' but may be for travel abroad


The government will end Covid vaccine certification requirements for big events once the roadmap out of lockdown is complete, it has been reported

Ministers are said to be planning to ditch so-called “vaccine passport” plans for crowd gatherings including, sports matches, concerts, and festivals, once its jab targets are reached.

The move will come after major trials at Wembley and Wimbledon Stadium allowed football and tennis fans to flock to events with proof of tests or a vaccine.

However, demonstrating proof of a jab will still likely be required for travel abroad, it was reported.

And event organisers would likely be permitted to run their own schemes requiring testing or proof of a jab to attend gatherings, should they desire.



A smartphone screen displaying a Covid-19 vaccine record on the National Health Service (NHS) app
Proof of a Covid-19 vaccine won’t be required by the government for mass gatherings, according to claims

The Premier League is among major organisers expected to introduce some form of certification to gain access to football grounds.

Such a system could allow venues to stay open if a fresh wave of coronavirus hits the UK in winter.

The government ditched plans for vaccine bars and nightclubs following backlash from MPs supporting the struggling hospitality industry.

A Whitehall source told the Daily Mail: “It is looking unlikely that we will have to make Covid certification compulsory, even for mass events.



The crowd applauds Switzerland's Roger Federer at Wimbledon
Major trials underway have allowed crowds to return to Wimbledon

“It will be needed for foreign travel and some events may choose to run their own schemes, but it does not look like we will need legislation at this stage.

“The work has not been wasted. It will be needed for travel and we will have a system in place which could be used if we need it in the winter.”

Sources claimed ministers planned to treat Covid more like flu, which causes severe illness and death every year despite annual influenza shots.



The crowd of racegoers watch the racing from the stands during Royal Ascot 2021 at Ascot Racecourse
The Royal Ascot was one of the first major events to be allowed to return with testing measures in place

The claims come following Sajid Javid’s appointment as Health Secretary following Matt Hancock’s resignation over an office affair.

During his first Commons appearance in the top job on Monday, Mr Javid told MPs it was time to “start returning to normal”.

His words were echoed by hopes Boris Johnson will confirm July 19 as the final date for ending social distancing restrictions in England.



Sajid Javid in the Commons
Sajid Javid has replaced Matt Hancock as Health Secretary

“Freedom day” was delayed due to concerns about the delta variant driving up infection rates across the UK.

The Prime Minister hosted a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, which agreed that “once we have completed the roadmap we will be able to live with Covid in the future, even if cases continue to rise, thanks to the protection provided by the vaccines”.

Monday’s figure of 22,868 infections was the highest daily total since January.

But No 10 have said they “believe the link is being broken” between cases and deaths – although they are “waiting to see” if it has been “completely severed”.

The government has yet to decide whether some restrictions such as face mask rules on public transport will remain in place after other measures have eased.

A Downing Street spokesman told the Mail: “Cabinet agreed that once we have completed the road map, we will be able to live with Covid in the future – even if cases continue to rise – thanks to the protections provided by the vaccine.”





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