Closed petition Do not require Covid vaccination passports for crowded events

Stop plans to require people to show proof of having been double jabbed in order to enter nightclubs and other crowded events. Allow a negative test to be sufficient, letting the discretion of personal choice and responsibility come into play.

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Introducing the proof of vaccination in order to enter crowded events is taking away our freedom of choice and body autonomy. Giving that people may choose not to have the vaccine for various reasons such as religion or health, it is discriminatory to require this in order to enter crowded events. A negative test a few days and on the day of the event should be sufficient for a democratic country, allowing people to choose what they do with their body.

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Government responded

This response was given on 14 January 2022

COVID status can be shown on the basis of a recent negative test, full vaccination, or exemption to attend crowded settings and large events.

To enter certain venues and events in England you must have proof of one of the following:

• you are vaccinated with 2 doses of an approved vaccine (or one of the single-dose Janssen vaccine) – we will keep this under review as boosters are rolled out

• you have completed a negative PCR test or negative rapid lateral flow test within the past 48 hours

• you are exempt from vaccination or vaccination and testing on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation

As is the case for vaccinations, tests are available at no cost under the government’s Universal Testing Offer.

Overall, vaccine or test certification will help reduce risks in these settings when compared with no intervention. It will, however, not eliminate the possibility of infectious people attending or transmitting the virus in these settings so individuals should continue to exercise caution.

Department of Health and Social Care

Other parliamentary business

MPs question Government on plans for covid vaccine passports

On Wednesday 8 September, MPs questioned the Government about plans for covid vaccine passports.

You can watch the questions and the Government's response on Parliament TV: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/9f86ff53-859d-465c-8295-498d53d52bdc?in=12:37:48

You can read the questions and the Government's response on the Hansard website: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-09-08/debates/6C6C1F6B-C2B2-4AF5-BC4B-643F8DEEF204/CovidVaccinePassports

The Minister for Covid Vaccine Deployment, Nadhim Zahawi MP, restated the Prime Minister's announcement of 19 July that by the end of September—when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed—the Government were planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. He said that the Government would confirm more details for its plans on covid vaccine passports in due course.

Why was the Government questioned about its plans for covid vaccine passports?

If an urgent or important matter arises which an MP believes requires an immediate answer from a government minister, they may apply to ask an urgent question.

Alistair Carmichael MP applied to ask the Government about plans for international travel, and this request was granted by the Speaker.

Find out more about Urgent Questions here:
https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/business/urgent-questions/

Government responds to report on Covid-status certification

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has published the Government's response to its report on plans to introduce domestic Covid-status certification, also known as Covid passports.

Read the Government's response (HTML): https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmpubadm/670/67002.htm

Read the Government's response (PDF): https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7176/documents/75707/default/

The Government's response states that the Government believes that certification would provide a public health benefit, and that it will set out more detail about the settings where certification will be required in due course.

Responding to the Government's response, the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, William Wragg MP, said:

“With recent analysis suggesting that vaccinated people carry as much of the virus as the unvaccinated into any setting, the disappointing lack of any scientific basis for the Government’s decision to go ahead could reasonably lead people to conclude that there is in fact no such basis. If the real goal is to drive vaccine uptake, then it is a deeply cynical approach that will be counterproductive.”

Read the Committee's press release about the Government's response: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/327/public-administration-and-constitutional-affairs-committee/news/157355/covid-passport-policy-lacks-scientific-evidence-base/

What did the Committee's report on Covid-status certification say?

The Committee's report said the Government had so far failed to make the scientific case in favour of the system, and raised concerns that such a system could “disproportionately discriminate” against people on the basis of their race, religion, age or socio-economic background. They concluded plans for Covid passports were "unnecessary" and "unjustified".

Read the report (HTML):
https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5802/cmselect/cmpubadm/42/4202.htm

Read the report (PDF):
https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/6264/documents/69158/default/

Read the Committee's press release:
https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/327/public-administration-and-constitutional-affairs-committee/news/155788/no-justification-for-covid-passports-say-committee/
 

What is the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee?

The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs which examines constitutional issues, and the quality and standards of administration provided by Civil Service departments. It's a cross-party committee and is independent of the Government.

Find out more on their website:
https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/327/public-administration-and-constitutional-affairs-committee/

You can get updates on their work by following the Committee on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/CommonsPACAC

This is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Government launches consultation on mandatory covid-19 certification in a Plan B scenario

The Government has launched a public call for evidence on its planned approach to covid-19 status certification, in the event that it considers it necessary to introduce this measure over this autumn or winter.

Read a summary of the proposals, and share your views:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proposal-for-mandatory-covid-certification-in-a-plan-b-scenario

The call for evidence is open until 11 October.

Autumn and Winter Plan for covid-19

The Government recently published its Autumn and Winter Plan for its covid-19 response. This set out how the Government intends to continue managing the impact of the pandemic over this period.

You can read the plan here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-autumn-and-winter-plan-2021

Alongside the Autumn and Winter Plan, the Government also prepared a 'Plan B', which would come into effect if data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure.

The Government suggested this 'Plan B' could include introducing mandatory covid-status certification in certain settings including nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals and large sports events. However, final decisions on the policy have not yet been made and the Government is inviting responses on its proposals.

The Government is particularly interested in the views of businesses, event organisers and venue operators, but the consultation is open to everyone over the age of 18.

Read the proposals in full:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/proposal-for-mandatory-covid-certification-in-a-plan-b-scenario/proposal-for-mandatory-covid-certification-in-a-plan-b-scenario

Who is running the consultation?

The consultation is being run by the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Government department responsible for the NHS and oversight of social care in England.

Find out more about the DHSC:
https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-of-health-and-social-care

Government introduces COVID-19 status requirements for entering certain venues and events

On Tuesday 14 December the House of Commons debated and approved new requirements to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19, or a negative COVID-19 test, before entering certain venues and events.

Read what was said during the debate: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-12-14/debates/8034393B-C568-4DE6-8695-1D63F957537E/PublicHealth

You can also watch the debate on Parliamentlive.tv: https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/61329c5b-ac88-4243-bbc9-35f8a142b5c7?in=13:46:46

What do the new rules mean?

The new rules mean that, if you are aged 18 or over, to enter certain venues and events in England you must have proof of one of the following:

  • you are vaccinated with 2 doses of an approved vaccine
  • you have taken a PCR or rapid lateral flow test within the last 48 hours
  • you are exempt on the basis of a medical exemption or clinical trial participation

People who live in England can show their NHS COVID Pass to prove they’re vaccinated, have completed a negative PCR test or negative lateral flow test within the past 48 hours, or are exempt.

You can read more about using your NHS COVID Pass for travel abroad and at venues and settings in England here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-covid-pass

And you can read the Government's guidance setting out which venues and events must use the NHS COVID Pass, or equivalent proof of vaccination or testing, as a condition of entry, and how to operate the scheme, here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/carrying-out-mandatory-covid-19-status-checks-at-your-venue-or-event

The new requirements are set out in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Entry to Venues and Events) (England) Regulations 2021, which you can read here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2021/1416/contents/made