Plans to roll out vaccine passports for nightclubs in England from the end of this month have been disappointed by an industry official who fears it could lead to a spike in house parties.
Downing Street confirmed that the government intends to continue its plans to introduce vaccination cards for nightclubs, previously criticized by MPs from both parties.
The program requires members of the public to provide evidence that they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in order to gain access to clubs and other major events.
But Sacha Lord, nighttime economic advisor to Greater Manchester and co-founder of the Parklife Festival in Manchester, said: “It is disappointing that despite demands from everyone, including industry and customers, the government is continuing to push this forward.
“The measures will enormously disrupt an already ailing industry.”
Lord Lord said he believed the measure had the potential to be harmful by encouraging an increase in indoor parties, which “arguably are less safe in terms of safety and alcohol monitoring”.
He added that he thought clubs are no less secure than other spaces where crowds might develop, saying, “For example, why should an open nightclub with an outdoor terrace be considered less secure than a closed office with 1,000 people and where ? the current wording says “large gatherings”, does that include weddings, churches or even parliament? “
Calling on the government to “rethink” to avoid an economic blow in October, Lord Lord said: “We have already taken sensible and safe arrangements throughout the hospitality industry and with the nightclubs already open we have evidence that the current facility is safe and effective. “
The government has repeatedly urged young people to get vaccinated over the summer and last month popular clubs in London like Heaven hosted a pop-up vaccination center while other venues and social media outlets have reinforced the message.
On Tuesday, the prime minister’s official spokesman said more details on vaccine passports would be released “in the coming weeks.”
It comes, as The Guardian reported, that new data showed that some people would be more reluctant to vaccinate if such passports were introduced.
16,527 people were analyzed, 14,543 of whom had not yet received both vaccine doses.
Almost 90% of this group (87.8%) said their decision to receive a second dose would not be affected by the introduction of the passport program.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Alex de Figueiredo of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said those percentages become significant when scaled across the population, according to The Guardian.
Boris Johnson previously faced backlash within his own party over the possibility of domestic vaccine passports, with 43 Conservative MPs signing a declaration against them.
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