Minister says some businesses will use vaccine passports for 'comfort' of customers

13 July 2021, 08:19

Minister questioned over Covid passports after July 19

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Nick Ferrari questioned Chief Secretary to the Treasury Steve Barclay after it was confirmed Covid restrictions would ease on July 19.

"Are we going to require Covid passports?"

Mr Barclay said the government would be working with businesses but that "it's not a legal requirement" to have Covid passports.

But, the Conservative MP said that some venues "will want to look at what measures they put in place."

This led to Nick Ferrari questioning why the decision was being left down to businesses.

"Why doesn't the government just say 'we're not having them' or 'we are having them'?"

Mr Barclay said the government would be putting out some "legal guidance" but that "some businesses want to be in a position to bring greater comfort to those using their premises."

"In terms of the legal position, it's not a legal requirement to have this," the minister said.

At the Downing Street press conference on Monday Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged venues to use the vaccine passport scheme "as a matter of social responsibility".

Guidance published on the Government website following the press conference said if "sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS Covid Pass in certain venues at a later date".

Other hospitality venues have said they are awaiting the full Government guidance before they make a decision on whether they will request proof of vaccination from customers.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced in the House of Commons on Monday that the Government was going ahead with the final stage of its road map next week when England will enter its "new phase of continued caution" in living with coronavirus.

Mr Javid said businesses and large events will be encouraged to use the NHS Covid Pass to ask punters for proof they are double-jabbed or have tested negative for coronavirus, but that it would be "non-compulsory".

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