As the UK continues with its exit out of lockdown, Mr Johnson told MPs the idea of a vaccine certificate may no longer “be alien” going forward. Speaking to the Liaison Committee today, Mr Johnson stated a vaccine certificate may be up to the discretion of pub landlords once the UK begins to open up. Mr Johnson said today: “I think that that’s the kind of thing that may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord.
“People, human beings, instinctively recognise when something is dangerous and nasty to them, and they can see that COVID is collectively a threat and they want us as their government, and me as the Prime Minister to take all the actions I can to protect them.”
Following Mr Johnson’s comments, the BBC’s Laura Kunssberg said: “PM’s comments from Liaison Committee have got some MPs riled over the suggestion of ‘papers for pubs’ – vaccine certificates being potentially required to get a pint – but proposals likely to include the option of showing a recent negative test as an alternative way of opening up safely.”
However, any potential plan for a vaccine certificate to enter hospitality venues sparked concern from some MPs and industry leaders.
MP for Wycombe and deputy chairman of the COVID Recovery Group, Steve Baker claimed the Prime Minister will begin a dangerous path if such a proposal is brought in.
Mr Baker claimed it could create a “two-tier Britain” for those who are unable to take up a vaccine for medical reasons.
Mr Baker said: “The Prime Minister began to tread a dangerous path when he opened the door to domestic Covid certificates.
“First they said we’ll need them to watch the football, and today that it may be papers for the pub.
“Whether the state legislates for it, recommends it or simply allows it the result will be the same: a two-tier Britain that prevents pregnant women from taking part in society, given that the Government is telling them not to take the vaccine, or one where we turn back the clock and tolerate businesses turning away customers from communities which have shown an unfortunate hesitancy to take up the offer of a vaccine.
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“It is simply unworkable, would cause conflict between staff and customers and almost certainly result in breaches of equality rules.
“Through the success of the vaccine rollout we need to throw off the shackles of coronavirus in line with the Government’s roadmap, not impose more checks on our ability to socialise and do business.”
On April 12, hospitality venues will be allowed to serve people outdoors without curfew.
On May 17, indoor hospitality will reopen ahead of all legal requirements being lifted on June 21.
Despite Mr Johnson hinting at plans are in place over coronavirus certificates for hospitality venues, the Prime Minister stated the overall aim of the Government is to protect the public.
Mr Johnson added: “I think there is a hierarchy between mandating something and permitting it or forbidding it.