Pubs, restaurants and cinemas may be given the powers to turn away customers if they have not had a coronavirus jab, a minister has suggested.
Nadhim Zahawi, the minister in charge of the vaccine rollout, warned businesses and football stadiums could ask customers for proof that they have been vaccinated on entry in a similar way QR codes are currently used.
The minister said although it would not be compulsory to have the jab, officials are looking into introducing so-called ‘immunity passports’ through the NHS to keep track of those who have had the injection.
When asked about the possibility of the passports, Mr Zahawi told the BBC: ‘We are looking at the technology. And, of course, a way of people being able to inform their GP that they have been vaccinated.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock addressed Mr Zahawi’s comments in a Downing Street press briefing tonight. He told the nation that the virus is ‘under control’ but urged people to get tested as he warned asymptomatic people are a ‘silent danger’.
Mr Hancock said: ‘For a long time now we’ve been looking at the questions that minister Zahawi was talking about and the question of what’s the impact on the individual in terms of what they can do.’
But he insisted: ‘Firstly, we do not plan to mandate the vaccine.
‘We think that by encouraging the uptake of the vaccine, we will get a very high proportion of people in this country to take up the vaccine, because of course it protects you but it also helps to protect your loved ones and your community.’
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