Home U.K How to get a vaccine passport? Rules for pubs, restaurants and holidays

How to get a vaccine passport? Rules for pubs, restaurants and holidays


Life after lockdown is likely to look considerably different to life before lockdown, with varying different rules likely to be in place for the months and years to come in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. One idea that has been floated since the reopening of society was set out earlier this year is vaccine passports – and you could need them for more than just travelling abroad.

Governments across the world have been setting out their plans for who will be allowed to enter and how travellers will be allowed to prove they are vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this week there was “growing global consensus” that international travel would require some form of Covid certification or “vaccine passport”, whether in the form of proof of vaccine, evidence of a negative test, or immunity from prior infection.

Mr Johnson said: “I think do not underestimate the natural wanderlust, spirit of inquiry, general dynamism of the British people that has served us for hundreds and hundreds of years.

“As soon as people feel it is safe, you will see a miraculous change in the mood and what happens. That is what this is all about.

“We’re getting there step by step, jab by jab – we’re not there yet but I’ll be saying more on April 5 and then on April 12, and we will do what we can.”

How do I get a vaccine passport?

The term in itself is misleading – there is no actual additional passport you need to travel or use the pub in the future.

A vaccine passport is essentially proof you have been inoculated against coronavirus – but such a document has not yet been issued by the Government.

However, Governments around the world have been preparing their own conditions for entry and travel in the post-Covid world.

The EU is working on a Digital Green Certificate, which will be electronic and include a scannable QR code that contains your basic health information, such as any recent negative tests or vaccines.

Some countries around the world require you to have proof of vaccination for various diseases, so the move is not exactly uncommon – for example, you need a yellow fever certificate to travel to several countries.

Any such document has not yet been prepared by the UK Government, but a review is looking into whether people should have to prove they have been vaccinated as lockdown measures ease up over the coming months.

The review is looking at how an individual’s vaccination and testing status could be stored securely and displayed on a phone – as well as the circumstances under which such a system could apply.

One senior Government source has said a report could come out in May to coincide with the wider reopening of hospitality in England.

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Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “It’s crucial that visiting the pub and other parts of hospitality should not be subject to mandatory vaccination certification.

“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.”

A British Beer and Pub Association spokesperson said: “Our sector has already gone to extraordinary lengths to prepare for reopening and we do not believe a requirement for pubs to check whether someone has had the vaccine would be appropriate or necessary.

“We will continue to work closely with the Government in developing guidelines for a safe and sustainable reopening in April and May.”

Jonathan Neame, chief executive of the Shepherd Neame pub chain, confirmed his company would not insist on vaccine certificates.

He said: “The whole essence of a pub is that they are diverse and inclusive environments, where everybody, and families in particular, are extremely welcome.”

“It’s absolutely fine to exclude people where there is a situation of bad behaviour or drunkenness, and that’s already enshrined in law, but if you’re going to exclude people for what they are, or what they have not done, that’s a wholly different issue which does touch on discrimination, civil liberties, and in this case data protection issues.”


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