Proof that someone has been given the coronavirus vaccine may soon be required before customers are allowed to go inside a pub or restaurant.
Last week, Boris Johnson said that pubs and other venues could use vaccine passports, before backtracking slightly to clarify that this may only be introduced once all UK adults have been offered a vaccination.
The prime minister also suggested that requiring proof of vaccination would be up to the discretion of landlords – meaning some venues could host only vaccinated customers, while others would be open for anyone.
Recent polling by YouGov found that a majority of Brits think you should be barred from a pub if you can’t prove you’ve been given the jab.
However, hospitality and retail bosses have warned that the use of vaccine passports or certification for customers entering venues could face “legal concerns” and create enforcement problems for businesses.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade body UKHospitality said certification could pose a problem for frontline staff, including facing potential abuse from having to enforce the law.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has also suggested that if coronavirus is brought under control, the British instinct would be against the use of vaccine passports.
Starmer told The Telegraph: “My instinct is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, as the number of hospital admissions and deaths go down, there will be a British sense that we don’t actually want to go down this road.”
He added: “My instinct is that… (if) we get the virus properly under control, the death rates are near zero, hospital admissions very, very low, that the British instinct in those circumstances will be against vaccine passports.”
A Whitehall source told the Press Agency that one possibility being considered is that landlords may be able to scrap social distancing if they check COVID health certificates on entry.
The move would allow them to operate at much higher capacity and could be a strong incentive for them to participate in the scheme.
The prime minister has previously said that he acknowledges the “moral complexities” around bringing in a domestic vaccine passport scheme.
He is due to set out more details in early April on potentially introducing such a scheme.
Watch: Pub vaccine passports could be considered after everyone offered a jab