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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

England scraps vaccine passport plan

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The U.K. government has dropped plans for vaccine passports to enter crowded venues in England.

“I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports,” Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC.

The plan, which was expected to come into force at the end of September, would have meant that anyone going to a crowded indoor venue — such as a nightclub — would have had to show evidence of full vaccination.

“It’s fair to say, I think, most people probably instinctively don’t like the idea,” Javid said. “I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity.”

But the idea would nevertheless be kept “in reserve as a potential option,” he said.

Earlier this month, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said passports were necessary to keep large venues open, prompting outrage from the hospitality industry.

“This idea has always been discriminatory,” said Greater Manchester’s nighttime economy adviser, Sacha Lord. “We’ve proven we can run safe events.”

A few days ago, parliamentarians in Scotland voted to require a vaccine passport to enter crowded venues — including nightclubs, music festivals and some football stadiums — from October 1. The Night Time Industries Association said the plan put the sector on a “dangerous path to devastation.”

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