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U.K. STAMPS AN OK ON VACCINE PASSPORTS

The U.K. government has done a U-turn and announced that vaccine certificates will be compulsory for admission to music venues and nightclubs beginning in late September. A negative test alone will not permit entry.

Earlier this month, health secretary Sajid Javid said businesses and large events would be encouraged to use vaccine passports but not legally required to do so. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson reversed that decision in an apparent attempt to encourage young people to get vaccinated.

During a press conference, Johnson said that he is “planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.” The rule will come into play once all over-18s have had the opportunity to receive both doses of the vaccine. “Some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination,” he added.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, called the U-turn “an absolute shambles," continuing, “Leaving aside the fact that this is yet another chaotic U-turn, one that will force nightclubs planning for reopening for months to make more changes to the way they operate—this is still a bad idea. 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 announcement arrived just hours after U.K. nightclubs and venues were allowed to fully reopen for the first time since March last year.

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