Publicans have reacted with anger to Boris Johnson’s suggestion it could be left up to them to decide whether to only permit customers who have been vaccinated against coronavirus. The boss of the Shepherd Neame chain said making jabs mandatory for entry to pubs was a “fairly poorly thought out idea”. Bosses of Young’s, Greene King and City Pub Group called the idea “unworkable”, “devastating” and “chaotic and discriminatory”, respectively – echoing strong resistance from trade bodies.
But fresh details have emerged of a strong incentive for pubs to adopt checks of health certificates under plans being considered in the Government’s review into their possible use.
Though no decision has been made, it is thought pubs may be allowed to scrap social distancing rules if they check customers’ certificates at the door, allowing them to operate far more profitably.
And an exclusive Express.co.uk poll found a majority would back some sort of scheme which would see only those who had been vaccinated admitted.
The poll found 60 percent (3,554 people) thought people should be barred from pubs and restaurants if they have not had the Covid-19 vaccine.
Forty percent (2,240 people) said people should be allowed into hospitality venues even if they had not been vaccinated and 48 people said they didn’t know.
A total of 5,842 people took part in the online survey which ran from 8am until 8pm on Thursday March 25 2021.
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One reader said: “I won’t be going to any pub or restaurant until everyone has had their vaccines.
“I don’t trust young people to be responsible and keep their distance, just as they don’t bother to sanitise their hands when going into a supermarket and are handling fresh food that other people will be handling and buying!
“They also bump into you and don’t keep their distance. Let them risk it that want to.”
Tory lockdown sceptic Steve Baker warned barring people who had not received a jab could create a “two-tier Britain”, while Labour frontbencher Ed Miliband said it would be wrong to leave the public health measure up to pub landlords.
Clive Watson, founder of City Pub Group, warned introducing mandatory vaccines to pubs would be “absolutely chaotic and discriminatory”.
He said: “If you can’t require all hauliers coming into the country to have vaccine passports it is mad to suggest someone might need one to go to the pub.
“It’s discriminatory and a lot of people, including myself, have had a vaccine but haven’t got a way to immediately prove it.
“The paperwork would be an absolute nightmare.”
Mr Watson added that around 90 percent of his workforce are under-40 and would therefore “not work operationally either”.