Vaccine passports will provide 'conflict', says bar chain chief

17 May 2021, 15:56

By Fiona Jones

Bar chain chief Rob Pitcher told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that policing vaccine passports would cause "unnecessary points of conflict" in the hospitality industry, as pubs and restaurants reopen inside in the next stage of the PM's roadmap.

The roadmap out of lockdown in England has so far gone as planned and Monday marks the most significant relaxation so far.

This includes groups of up to thirty being allowed to meet outdoors, while people can meet indoors with up to six people or as two households.

Pubs, bars and restaurants can also reopen indoors, with groups of up to six people or two households able to sit inside.

Read more: Lockdown easing: All you need to know about England's Covid rules from today

However, the concept of having vaccine passports to enter establishments is being piloted, with no firm rule given as of yet.

Revolution Bars Group chief Rob Pitcher told Shelagh, "I think it's very difficult for an everyday occurrence to put upon people for a vaccine passports, or to police that.

"People have got very deeply held views in both directions on this. To put young team members in the way of those deeply held views is potentially just providing points of conflict people don't need.

"People are coming out to enjoy themselves and the confrontation that can be caused by challenging people over their status is for me, unnecessary."

Shelagh posited that the practice of checking in, which is done on the NHS app, does not seem to cause conflict so a vaccine status certification may not either.

Mr Pitcher responded, "I think getting people to check in is one thing, getting people to prove their Covid vaccine status is something quite different..it is a deeper level.

"For international travel, where you're potentially bringing back new variants, I completely understand but for an everyday occurrence, such as going to a pub or a restaurant, given the strength of the vaccine success given that is successful against all variants, I do question the need for that to be introduced should that be the case."