In further proof that the government make policy mainly by consulting a Magic 8-Ball, the list of recent u-turns was topped last night as Vaccines Minister Nadim Zahawi announced that nightclubs will now be required to demand Covid passports from September.
The move came on the heels of a run of u-turns, including quarantine for tourists returning from France and the hour or so when Boris and the Chancellor thought it would totally fly for them to opt out of self-isolation having met with the covid-shedding Health Secretary.
Speaking to The Commons yesterday, the minister explained that “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.
we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs...
The move will dismay nightclub owners who only opened their clubs for the first time in 16 months yesterday as they will be landed with the tricky job of enforcing the policy.
The mandate, which will see punters forced to show proof that they’re double-vaccinated against COVID-19, comes as vaccine uptake among under 30s lags behind other age groups, with 35% of 18-30 year-olds, or three million people, currently unvaccinated despite easy access to the jabs.
The announcement is hoped to boost uptake, but also reflects the concern of medical staff that hospital patients during the current wave are seeming to be younger vaccine refuseniks.
Vaccine uptake among under 30s lags behind other age groups...
Boris took to the airwaves, radioing in his press conference appearance last night from Chequers, saying getting jabbed is the “right thing to help get back the freedoms you love”.
Also saying “I would remind everybody that some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.”
The announcement also raises the spectre of more widespread use of the ‘passports’, currently accessed from your NHS app. The addition of the wording ‘…and other venues where large crowds gather’ suggests that other infectious settings, like sports matches, gigs and festivals will also start requiring QR codes.
It seems unlikely that the government will be stumping up any more funding...
It seems unlikely that the government will be stumping up any more funding to help the beleaguered nightclub industry, or meaningful support as businesses look to implement the latest diktat. Which puts clubs, ignored by government for over a year at the front line in helping deliver a key government policy aim of ensuring vaccination in younger adults.
Perhaps Rishi could spare some cash?