The government has called for evidence towards a consultation on proposals for mandatory Covid certification in a ‘Plan B' scenario in England.
The call for evidence closes on 11 October, although stakeholders are encouraged to submit their views "as quickly as possible in case there is need to introduce certification, as part of Plan B, at short notice".
The government said it would engage on the proposals with affected businesses and civil society to ensure measures were "proportionate and effective". It said it was particularly interested in views from businesses, event organisers and venue operators, including from those that have experience of using certification on a voluntary basis over the summer, and on the proposals for the workforce.
It was announced last month that vaccine certification in certain settings would be part of the government's ‘Plan B' for managing Covid-19 during the autumn and winter months and could be introduced at just one week's notice.
Health secretary Sajid Javid said the contingency measures would be used "only if needed and supported by the data to prevent unsustainable pressure on the NHS" and mandatory vaccine certification would be a power the government would hold "in reserve".
Under Plan B, mandatory vaccine-only certification would be introduced for visitors to the following venues:
- All nightclubs;
- Indoor, crowded settings with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as music venues or large receptions;
- Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to be in close proximity to people from other households, such as outdoor festivals; and
- Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia.
Wedding ceremonies, funerals and other commemorative events, protests and mass participation sporting events would be exempt.
Industry bodies have previously come out against vaccine passports, describing them as "unworkable".
From today, anyone over the age of 18 will need proof of vaccination to gain entry to certain venues and large-scale events in Scotland and the Night-Time Industries Association (NTIA) launched a legal challenge to the policy, however this was dismissed.
The NTIA said it would take further legal advice and continue to challenge the Scottish government on the issue, arguing it was "deeply flawed and incoherent" and raised "serious issues" around discrimination and its economic impact.
Vaccine passports are to become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and large-scale events in Wales from 11 October.
Photo: Shutterstock / Daniel Calvert