Full vaccination to be made a condition of entry to nightclubs by the end of September

The Vaccine Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, has today (19 July 2021) set out, amongst other things, upcoming plans to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs (and other venues where large crowds gather) by the end of September 2021.

In an oral statement to Parliament, he said:

Vaccination also holds the key for doing the things we love doing here at home Mr Speaker. We are supporting the safe re-opening of large, crowded settings — such as nightclubs, as we saw last night, and music venues with the use of the NHS Covid Pass as a condition of entry, to reduce the risks of transmission. I encourage businesses to draw on this support and use the NHS COVID Pass in the weeks ahead.

We will be keeping a close watch on how it is used by venues, and we reserve the right Mr Speaker to mandate it if necessary. By the end of September, everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination – and the additional two weeks for that full protection to really take hold. So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.

Any decisions will, of course, be subject to parliamentary scrutiny – and we will ensure the appropriate exemptions for those who have genuine medical reasons for why they can’t get vaccinated. And I am clear: we will always look at the evidence available and do all we can to ensure people can continue to do the things they love.

Speaking on this same subject at today’s coronavirus press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

… though we can see the enthusiasm of millions of young people to get their jabs, we need even more young adults to receive a protection that is of immense benefit to your family and friends – and to yourselves.

And so I would remind everybody that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination. There are already countries that require you to be double jabbed as a condition of quarantine free travel and that list seems likely to grow. And we are also concerned – as they are in other countries – by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs.

I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again – as they have elsewhere – but it does means nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.

As we said last week, we reserve the right to mandate certification at any point, if it is necessary to reduce transmission. And I should serve notice now that by the end of September – when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed –we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.

Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient.

Heavily criticising the above announcements, UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls has said:

This announcement comes as a hammer blow on a day when nightclubs, a sector that has been closed by the Government for 16 months, were finally given hope that they could start to trade viably and make progress toward rebuilding and paying off accrued debts. Covid passports will be a costly burden that run the risk of creating flashpoints between staff and customers, as well as raising potential issues with equalities legislation and the handling of customer data. As recently as last week the Government asked us to work with them on a voluntary scheme, so this new policy is devastating and risks hitting these fragile businesses and derailing their recovery and costing thousands of jobs.