U.K. Venues Could Demand Proof of Covid Vaccine to Grant Entry

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Restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in the U.K. could require people to provide proof they have been vaccinated against coronavirus before they are allowed in, Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said.

It is likely venues will use technology similar to the Covid-19 contact-tracing app to check if customers have had the shot, Zahawi told BBC radio on Monday.

Ministers hope a vaccine can start being rolled out within weeks, even though none have yet been approved. And it could help a revival of the U.K.’s entertainment industry, which has been battered by the shuttering of theaters, restaurants and bars and tight capacity limits on those which have been able to open.

Zahawi, who was appointed vaccines minister on Saturday, was asked if people in the U.K. will get proof of their vaccine status.

“We are looking at the technology and of course a way of people being able to inform their GP that they’ve been vaccinated,” he said, referring to community doctors. “But also I think you’ll find restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues, sports venues, will probably also use that system, as they’ve done with the app.”

“The pressure will come from both ways: from service providers who will say ‘look, demonstrate to us that you’ve been vaccinated,’ but also we will make the technology as easy and as accessible as possible,” he added.

Pressed on whether it will be “virtually impossible” to do anything without a vaccine, Zahawi said: “People will make a decision, but I think you’ll probably find that many service providers will want to engage with this in the way that they did with the app.”

The U.K. regulator is reviewing data from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, as well as AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Moderna Inc. also plans to request clearance for its coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. and Europe on Monday.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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