The British government will not mandate vaccine passports for nightclubs, cinemas, and other large public venues in England after all, Health Secretary Sajid Javid announced on Sunday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has backtracked on controversial plans to introduce vaccine passports domestically and is set to end draconian emergency powers given to the state under the Coronavirus Act, in a major concession to anti-lockdown factions within the Conservative Party.
Appearing on the BBC’s Andrew Marr programme on Sunday, Health Secretary Sajid Javid said in reference to vaccine passports: “I’m pleased to say we will not be going ahead with plans.”
We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it,” Javid added.
The Health Secretary also said that while he currently cannot make any firm commitments, he does not expect another lockdown to be imposed on the country, saying: “I’m not anticipating any more lockdowns… I just don’t see how we get to another lockdown”.
The move represents a stark U-turn from the government, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson declaring in July that “By the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their chance to be doubled-jabbed, we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition for entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.”
Mr Johnson will lay out coronavirus plans for the winter on Tuesday, in which he will reportedly announce the scaling back of the government’s coronavirus powers.
The move comes amid increased backlash within the House of Commons against the idea of vaccine passports, with a total of 82 MPs — including 44 from Johnson’s party — signing a pledge from the civil liberties campaign group Big Brother Watch to vote against the scheme.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is also expected to loosen travel restrictions, scrapping the so-called traffic light system. Fully vaccinated travellers will also no longer need to pay for expensive PCR tests upon their return to Britain, with the cheaper lateral flow tests taking their place.
The government will also reportedly remove self-isolation requirements for travellers who visit countries with a similar coronavirus rate to the United Kingdom.
Two days ago, Denmark ditched vaccine passports.
Denmark lifted all Covid restrictions, including the requirement that people show proof of vaccination to enter venues.
Government officials lifted the restrictions on Friday and said Covid is no longer considered a ‘socially critical disease.’