People could be refused entry to a host of venues if they decline to have a Covid vaccine, a minister has suggested.
Nadhim Zahawi, who is responsible for the rollout of a vaccine against the virus, has said that it will not be compulsory for people to have an injection.
Pubs, restaurants, bars, cinemas, and sports venues are expected to be among the venues that could refuse entry to people who have not been vaccinated.
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Mr Zahawi has suggested that businesses may require proof of vaccination before allowing people in, and confirmed that the government was considering giving those who have had the jab an “immunity passport” to show they have received it.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “We are looking at the technology. And, of course, a way of being able to inform their GP that they have been vaccinated.
“But, also, I think you’ll probably find that restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues, sports venues, will probably also use that system - as they have done with the (test and trace) app.
“I think that in many ways, the pressure will come from both ways, from service providers who’ll say, ‘Look, demonstrate to us that you have been vaccinated. But, also, we will make the technology as easy and accessible as possible.”
When asked what those who refuse to get vaccinated can do in the event they are restricted entry from venues, Mr Zahawi said that people will have to “make a decision”.
However, he warned that many service providers “will want to engage with this in the way they did with the app”.
Encouraging trial results
Results from trials of a number of Covid-19 vaccines have raised hope that some sense of normality will be returned in the coming months, pending approval from regulators.
US firm Moderna has now filed for regulatory approval of its vaccine in the United States, with its trials reporting no serious safety concerns with the jab, which it says is 94.1 per cent effective. The UK has already secured seven million doses of this vaccine.
Another vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech has been found to have a 95 per cent efficacy rate in trials, with the UK securing 40 million doses.
The UK has also placed an order of 100 million doses of a vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, which has produced results of up to 90 per cent effectiveness.
If the jab gains regulatory approval from the Medicines and Healthcare product Regulatory Agency, people could start being vaccinated within weeks.