4 min read19 July
People who are not fully jabbed will be barred from nightclubs and other venues with large crowds from the end of September, Boris Johnson has announced, as the government urges more young people to get vaccinated.
The Prime Minister on Monday said young people getting jabbed was of “immense benefit to your family and friends and to yourselves,” and revealed that just two-thirds of 18-30 year olds had received a first dose. This compares to 95% of over 50s and 85% of people aged between 30 and 50.
Speaking at a press conference to mark the removal of all legal coronavirus restrictions, Johnson warned young people that not getting vaccinated would stop them participating in some of some of “life’s most important pleasures and opportunities.”
“There are already countries that require already you to be double jabbed as a condition of quarantine-free travel, and I seem that list seems likely to grow,” he said.
He warned that nightclubs and other venues with large crowds, many of which re-opened in the early hours of this morning, would not be allowed to grant entry to people who haven’t received both jabs from the end of September.
Nightclub owners reacted in fury during the Prime Minister’s press conference over his remarks, according to industry boss Michael Kill.
“Freedom day lasted about 17 hours. It was devastating news. We need to be treated consistently and appropriately, we are not a one size fits all sector,” said Kill, who is chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association.
He told PoliticsHome he received around 600 messages in various WhatsApp groups the organisation facilitates for night-club owners and workers during the PM’s speech.
“There are mass auditoriums which you could be mass gatherings, and rural town centre nightclubs which have the same risk factors as pubs. There is a lot of anger and frustration at the moment. We’ve been closed for months and now we’re being almost targeted in the way we’re being managed.”
Johnson, speaking from his Chequers residence where he is self-isolating, said: “We are also concerned — as they are in other countries — by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs.
“I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again, as they have elsewhere.
“But it does mean nightclubs have to do the socially-responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test, or natural immunity as a means of entry.
“We deserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it’s necessary to reduce transmission and I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over-18s will have had their chance to be doubled jabbed, we are planning to make full vaccination the condition for entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
“Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.”
“I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says nightclubs “need to do the socially responsible thing” by asking for proof of full vaccination and a recent negative COVID test.
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He added: “We want people to be able to take back their freedoms as they can today.
“We want this country to be able to enjoy the fruits of our massive efforts and of our enormous vaccination campaign. But to do that we must remain cautious and we must continue to get vaccinated.”
The Prime Minister refused to rule out in the future requiring pubs to make proof of vaccination a condition of entry, saying he “does not want to see passports for pubs” but that “we reserve the right to do what’s necessary to protect the public.”
The government decided to go ahead with the fourth and final stage of the roadmap out of lockdown despite concerns over rapidly growing coronavirus case numbers in England.
Johnson insisted that while cases were continuing to surge, ending the lockdown later in the year rather than now would give the virus the advantage of colder weather and children being back in school.
He added that the rising numbers of hospitalisations and deaths were “well within the margins of what the scientists predicted” when the roadmap out of lockdown was first set out.
“There comes a point when restrictions no longer prevent hospitalisations and deaths, but simply delay the inevitable. And so we have to ask ourselves the question: if not now, when?” he said.
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