Sources are claiming that pub bosses have stormed out of a Government meeting on vaccine passports last week. This news comes as Boris Johnson faces calls to keep venues shut beyond the spring. Many are expecting the hospitality industry to be a key fixture in the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement that is due on Monday.
Some reports are suggesting pubs will be able to reopen in May with a maximum of two households allowed to sit together indoors and the rule-of-six sitting outside. However, UNN’s Oliver Down understands that some government ministers are urging the Government to introduce vaccine passports as a way to revive bars, pubs and restaurants.
Tensions erupted last week when a number of pub bosses branded vaccine passports ‘unworkable’ as their target market is predominantly young adults, who won’t get the vaccine until later in the year. In addition to this, government ministers accused some pub bosses within the meeting of leaking the lockdown road map plans.
This morning, the vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said that it would be up to businesses’ to decide if they want to require proof of vaccination before serving customers. In addition to this, the Times are quoting a senior government minister as saying on vaccine passports: ‘We’re talking about industries that are dying here. In terms of getting live music, theatre and other parts of the entertainment industry back on their feet, it seems an obvious thing to do once the majority of people have been vaccinated’.
However, the chief executive of the Night-Time Industries Association Michael Kill has said he would not back vaccine passports: ‘Because people are not going to be vaccinated in age groups that we attract, the idea of vaccine passports won’t be helpful’. Very few seem to be ruling out vaccine passports long term.