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England Clubs To Need Proof Of Vaccination By September
Christian Eede , July 19th, 2021 17:24

The UK government's vaccine minister, Nadhim Zahawi, confirmed the news earlier today (July 19)

Attendees of clubs in England will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of September, the UK government has signalled today (July 19).

Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi confirmed the decision in parliament on the day that nightclubs in the country have been allowed to fully reopen for the first time since March 2020. The UK government had previously signalled that it was considering introducing the measure, but now it's been confirmed that officials will move ahead with the plans.

"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," Zahawi said in parliament. "So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."

Zahawi added that exemptions will be put in place for those who cannot be fully vaccinated for medical reasons.

It's believed the government hopes that plans for a vaccine passport system to enter nightclubs will help to encourage further vaccine take-up among younger people. Today's announcement follows on from the UK government last week shifting its messaging to encourage those putting on events at nightclubs to make use of the NHS COVID Pass now that COVID-19 measures have been relaxed.

Speaking during an evening press conference some hours after Zahawi first revealed plans for mandatory vaccination to enter nightclubs, Boris Johnson said that if more venues did not make use of the NHS COVID Pass, we may find ourselves heading towards an autumn lockdown. The Prime Minister referred explicitly to a "significant thread posed by nightclubs" while he was speaking.

He continued: "I don't want to have to close nightclubs again, nightclubs have to do the responsible thing and use the NHS COVID Pass which shows proof of vaccination or a recent negative test. We do reserve the right to mandate such certification."

It's not yet known exactly how the UK government might distinguish which spaces the rules for mandatory vaccination will explicitly apply to. The government also hasn't signalled how such a rule might be implemented, with the impetus seemingly being placed on promoters and venue owners to oversee that only those who've been fully vaccinated attend events.

Reacting to the day's developments, Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Assocation (NTIA), said: "So, 'Freedom Day' for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then. The announcement from the Prime Minister that [COVID-19] passports will be made mandatory for nightclubs in September comes after his Health Secretary said only one week ago that they would not be compulsory. What an absolute shambles."