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World Proof of full COVID vaccination condition of entry to nightclubs from end of September

03:54  20 july  2021
03:54  20 july  2021 Source:   news.sky.com

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People will need to have proof of full vaccination to enter nightclubs and other "crowded venues" from the end of September, the vaccines minister has announced.

Nadhim Zahawi said a negative coronavirus test would soon "no longer be sufficient" proof that a person was COVID-safe.

Speaking in the Commons on the day England's nightclubs were allowed to open for the first time since March 2020, he urged businesses to use the NHS COVID pass, which shows if someone is vaccinated or that they have tested negative for the virus.

a group of people standing on a stage in front of a crowd: Clubbers at Egg nightclub in Kings Cross, north London on Monday night © Other Clubbers at Egg nightclub in Kings Cross, north London on Monday night

He added that in the next few weeks: "We will be keeping a close watch on how it is used by venues and reserve the right to mandate if necessary."

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Mr Zahawi said: "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 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.

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"Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."

It is hoped the announcement will help boost vaccine uptake among the under-30s, which is currently much lower than in older age groups.

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In a news conference on Monday evening, Boris Johnson said 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds - three million people - were unvaccinated.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: The first few clubbers make it on to the dance floor at a few minutes past midnight at Pryzm nightclub, which  threw open its doors to celebrate the relaxing of Covid-19 rules on July 19, 2021 in Brighton, England. At a minute past midnight, England dropped most of its remaining Covid-19 social restrictions, such as those requiring indoor mask-wearing and limits on group gatherings. These changes come despite rising infections, pitting the country's vaccination programme against the virus's more contagious Delta variant. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: The first few clubbers make it on to the dance floor at a few minutes past midnight at Pryzm nightclub, which threw open its doors to celebrate the relaxing of Covid-19 rules on July 19, 2021 in Brighton, England. At a minute past midnight, England dropped most of its remaining Covid-19 social restrictions, such as those requiring indoor mask-wearing and limits on group gatherings. These changes come despite rising infections, pitting the country's vaccination programme against the virus's more contagious Delta variant. (Photo by Chris Eades/Getty Images)

He urged young people to get fully-jabbed, saying it is the "right thing to help get back the freedoms you love".

He added: "I would remind everybody that some of life's most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.

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"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."

Asked if there would be a vaccination requirement for pubs, Mr Johnson said he "certainly didn't want to see" vaccine passports for bars, but that the government "reserved the right to do what's necessary to protect the public".

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: People queue to get in to the Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images) © 2021 Getty Images LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 19: People queue to get in to the Egg London nightclub in the early hours of July 19, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

The government's chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said evidence from the Netherlands and Israel has shown that clubs are "potential superspreading events". He added that he expects to see outbreaks in the UK linked to nightclubs now venues are open.

Meanwhile, England's deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said he "completely sympathised" with the sacrifices young people have made.

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"On the science side, however, it is a case in point that if you pack my garden shed full of people and they are unvaccinated, the likelihood of transmission is going to be far greater than if you pack my garden shed full of people who have been fully vaccinated and are 14 days out the other side of their second dose."

Earlier, the government called for caution after people queued to return to venues in the early hours of Monday, after most remaining coronavirus rules were dropped in England.

Mr Zahawi promised that the plans would be subject to parliamentary scrutiny, and that there would be "appropriate" exemptions for people with a medical condition that means they cannot be vaccinated.

"We will always look at the evidence available and do all we can to ensure people can continue to do the things they love," he added.

The COVID Pass scheme, run through the NHS app, was initially launched as a way of clearing people as safe to attend trial events such as sports matches, festivals and concerts, or to prove that they are safe to travel abroad.

The night-time industry expressed concerns over the latest plan.

Peter Marks, chief executive of nightclub operator Rekom UK, told Sky News: "Younger guests are 95% of our customers - they won't be fully vaccinated [by September].

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"We won't be requiring them, otherwise we won't have anyone in."

Sacha Lord, night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester, said the whole industry was "taken by surprise".

"I am not a scientist or a doctor, but I am deeply concerned by the discriminatory nature for those who either can't have the vaccine for medical reasons or age, or who do not want to," he added.

Michael Kill, chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association, said: "So, 'freedom day' for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then… What an absolute shambles."

The Music Venue Trust, which represents grassroots music venues, added: "Singling out nightclubs, or music venues, or any other cultural activity, as spaces required to deliver such a policy won't work without the tools to do it and without addressing the obvious point that most grassroots music venues have lower capacities and lower total attendees per day than pubs."

Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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usr: 1
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