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UK Government Outlines COVID-19 Contingency Plan
Christian Eede , September 15th, 2021 21:04

Though plans for vaccine passports have been scrapped, they could be introduced in England with just one week's notice

The use of vaccine passports as a requirement for entry to nightclubs, music venues and large-scale events in England could come into effect with just one week's notice, according to the latest guidance issued by the UK government.

With cases of COVID-19 remaining at a significant level as the autumn and winter months approach, the NHS is at risk of becoming overwhelmed by hospitalisations. Should case numbers not begin to fall, a series of 'Plan B' measures will be implemented, which have been outlined by the government in a new document, titled COVID-19 Response: Autumn & Winter Plan.

Among the 'Plan B' measures is the introduction of vaccine passports to be used as a condition of entry to all nightclubs, indoor spaces with more than 500 attendees, outdoor spaces with more than 4,000 people, and all events with crowds of 10,000 or more. Significantly, promoters and club owners are being asked to make their own contingency preparations now, and the document warns that they may be forced to implement changes within a week of any announcement.

The warning follows on from the UK government's U-turn earlier this week, which has seen them scrap plans to introduce vaccine passports as a requirement for entry to clubs and other crowded spaces. Those plans were initially announced in July.

Other Plan B measures outlined this week in the government's document include the re-introduction of mandatory mask-wearing in public, as well as a return to working from home where possible. At the time of writing, England is recording a seven-day average of 22,289 new cases of COVID-19 per day.

Scotland still intends to introduce the use of vaccine passports as a requirement for entry to clubs and large events from next month, as announced last week by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.