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Boris Johnson Says Pubs Could Ask For Vaccine Passports Despite Previously Ruling It Out

2 min read

Boris Johnson has suggested that pubs could start asking punters for proof of vaccination on the door despite previously stating it wouldn’t be necessary.

Appearing before the liaison committee on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the decision on whether to introduce them or not was “the kind of thing that may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord”.

He said that the concept of proving you are vaccinated against Covid-19 “should not be totally alien to us”, adding that it was “wholly responsible” for companies in the care sector to require their staff to have the jab.

There was a “national conversation” ongoing about the virtues of introducing such a system, he added, and the “public have been thinking very deeply about it”.

Speaking to journalists in February, however, the PM had said it was unlikely that vaccine passports would be required to go to the pub, though he admitted the technology would likely be necessary for international travel.

“I think inevitably there will be great interest in ideas like 'can you show that you had a vaccination against COVID?' in the way that you sometimes have to show you have had a vaccination against yellow fever or other diseases in order to travel somewhere. I think that is going to be very much in the mix down the road,” he said last month.

“What I don’t think we will have in this country is – as it were – vaccination passports to allow you to go to, say, the pub or something like that. I think that that would be going it a bit.”

Ministers announced in February that they would be launching a review into whether so-called vaccine passports — documentation to prove you are inoculated against Covid-19 — should be introduced in the UK.

He said the government would "consider the potential role of Covid status certification in helping venues to open safely, but mindful of the many concerns surrounding exclusion, discrimination, and privacy".

The results of the review are expected in June, prior to the final stages of the government’s reopening plan. 

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