Paul Scully says No10 ‘not ruling out’ vaccine passports for theatres, cinemas, churches

20 July 2021, 10:22

By Emma Soteriou

Number 10 is "not ruling out" vaccine passports for theatres, cinemas and churches, Consumer and Small Business Minister Paul Scully has said.

Nick Ferrari challenged the minister on how far the use of vaccine certificates would go.

"Will it apply to theatres and cinemas - possibly church services?" Nick asked.

"We're not ruling anything out," said Mr Scully.

"You might need a vaccine passport to go to a carol service?" questioned Nick.

"No, that's not what we're saying. What we are doing, though, we're talking about especially places were ventilation might be an issue and where people are getting together in crowded areas.

"We'll work through the detail, but what we want to do is give fair warning now, so that we can work through the detail with operators over the next few weeks.

"We are encouraging venue owners to be using this on a voluntary basis in the meantime."

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It comes after the government announced plans to introduce Covid passports for crowded places - including nightclubs - from autumn.

People will need to show proof that they have been double-jabbed to be allowed entry into venues.

Mr Scully explained that the government was learning from different countries around the world.

"We are learning from examples like in the Netherlands, for example, where there’s been quite a big set of cases from nightclubs there," he said.

"Now nightclubs can vary from big warehouses to smaller rooms.

"So much of it is about ventilation and so much of it is about the variants and the effect with the vaccination, so we’re encouraging people to get vaccinated, but we’re also working through the winter period."

Number 10 has already seen a backlash following the announcement on Monday, with Labour's shadow health minister, Justin Madders, saying "it makes no sense".