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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

News: UKHospitality warns vaccine passports could damage industry

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Vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has confirmed vaccine passports will be required to enter nightclubs and other indoor venues in England by the end of this month.

Zahawi said it was the right time to start the scheme for sites with large crowds as all over-18s will have been offered two jabs by then.

Asking people to show certificates with Covid-19 vaccination proof has been criticised by venues and some MPs.

Zahawi said it would ensure the economy could remain open.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, he explained: “The best way we can keep those industries open in my view, in our view, is to work with the industry.

“One thing that we have learnt is that in large gatherings of people, especially indoors, the virus tends to spike and spread.”


However, the plans have met with concern in the industry.

Commenting on reports, Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “A scheme introducing mandatory Covid-19 passports for certain venues and events will be unworkable, cause conflict between staff and customers and will force business to deal with complex equality rules.

“Operators may even be forced into a position where they have to let unvaccinated staff go, at a time when there are record levels of staff shortages across the industry.”

She added: “The hospitality sector has invested heavily to ensure customers are safe and we have proved venues are Covid-19 secure.

“Introducing a scheme such as this will be a hammer blow to businesses such as nightclubs that were closed by the government for nearly 18 months, and have only recently been able to trade viably and make progress toward rebuilding and paying off accrued debts.

“Over the past year our sector has been devastated and businesses have only known forced closure or the most severe restrictions.

“This policy will be devastating for businesses that remain fragile and will certainly derail recovery and cost thousands of jobs.”

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