United Kingdom

Double-vaccinated to get more freedoms than those without jabs

Proof of vaccination will be required for night clubs (Picture: Getty/LNP)

Proof of Covid vaccination will be required for entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather, Boris Johnson has announced.

The PM has mandated clubs to only let in those who have been double jabbed by the end of September when all over 18s will have been given the chance to get fully vaccinated.

The move comes despite the PM previously ruling out a domestic vaccine passport scheme and is part of a drive to try to ensure more young people take up the offer of the vaccine.

Speaking from self-isolation at a Downing Street press conference Mr Johnson said ‘proof of a negative test will no longer be enough’ for those wising to go clubbing.

Club are open again in England for the first time in 16 months and there were raucous scenes across the country last night as people piled into venues after midnight.

But venues where people crowd together indoors and ventilation is poor are seen as potential environments for ‘super-spreader’ events.

In the Netherlands, nightclubs were forced to close just weeks after reopening and there are fears something similar could happen here.

Businesses have been urged to use the NHS Covid pass, which shows a person’s vaccination status, before the new rules come into place, although this is not mandatory for now.

From September you must be vaccinated to go to nightclubs, crowded places - Johnson

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Mr Johnson told the press conference: ‘We are concerned, as are other countries, by the risk caused by nightclubs.

‘I don’t want to close nightclubs again, but it means nightclubs have to do the responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covd pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity as a means of entry.

‘We do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it’s necessary to reduce transmission.

‘I should serve notice that by the end of September that when all over 18s have had the chance to be double jabbed, we are planning to make vaccination a condition on nightclubs and venues where large crowds gather, proof of a negative test won’t be enough.’

There were long queues outside nightclubs last night (Picture: North News & Pictures)

The new rules come after Mr Johnson revealed only 65% of young people have taken up the offer to get a vaccine, far fewer than those in older age groups.

This means that some three million people are still unvaccinated, and the Prime Minister warned them that: ‘Some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.’

Mr Johnson has previously ruled out introducing a vaccine passport scheme as a condition of entry for other venues including pubs and restaurants.

Test events have also shown that the spread of Covid is minimal at club nights where everyone attending has shown proof of a negative test.

Experts are worried about potential ‘super-spreader’ events (Picture: North News & Pictures)

Nightclubs and live music venues have hit back at the announcement, complaining that they have been unfairly singled out.

Michael Kill, chief executive officer of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), slammed the plan, calling it an ‘absolute shambles’.

The trade body boss said: ‘So, “freedom day” for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then.’

He claimed the health secretary Sajid Javid had announced only a week ago that any such scheme would not be compulsory.

Vaccination rates are lowest among younger people (Picture: Getty)

‘Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another chaotic U-turn that will leave night clubs who have been planning for reopening for months will now have to make more changes to the way they operate – this is still a bad idea,’ he added.

‘80% of nightclubs have said they do not want to implement Covid passports, worrying about difficulties with enforcing the system and a reduction in spontaneous consumers, as well as being put at a competitive disadvantage with pubs and bars that aren’t subject to the same restrictions and yet provide similar environments.’

The Music Venue Trust, which represents grassroots music venues, has called for a ‘workable, usable and accurate certification process that is in wide use across society and is accepted as normal and necessary by the public.’

A statement added: ‘Singling out nightclubs, or music venues, or any other cultural activity, as spaces required to deliver such a policy won’t work without the tools to do it and without addressing the obvious point that most grassroots music venues have lower capacities and lower total attendees per day than pubs.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Jeremy Hunt, Conservative chairman of the Health and Social Care Committee, questioned why the Government was waiting until the end of September to implement the plans.

He said he feared that the two month delay would lead to a big spike in cases as people flock back to clubs post-Freedom Day.

Meanwhile, Britain’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said on Monday that 60% of people being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 have had two doses of vaccine.

‘In terms of the number of people in hospital who’ve been double vaccinated, we know it’s around 60% of the people being admitted to hospital with Covid,’ Sir Patrick said.

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