Sixty operators and leading figures in the tourism industry in the UK have rejected a proposed government plan to compel them to demand COVID-19 vaccine passports from patrons.
The government is said to be mulling a COVID status certification policy that would require operators in the industry to compel patrons to show proof of a Covid jab, negative test, or natural immunity through antibodies.
According to a report by Telegraph, the operators rejected the plan in a joint letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The 60 restaurant owners, nightclub operators and other hospitality figures said that their opposition to COVID status certification stemmed from their belief that it was “not right” to demand health documentation before admitting patrons.
Some of the signatories, Telegraph reported, are CEOs of Rekom UK, which runs 42 nightclubs, and Tokyo Industries, which runs clubs, festivals and bars.
Others are senior figures at venues such as The Hippodrome Casino, Electric Star Pubs, Bocca de Lupo, Proud Cabaret, Brindisa and Burger&Lobster.
The letter read in part, “We are UK licensed premises and event promoters that have struggled at this difficult time for everyone. We have no axe to grind politically and many of us think the vaccine roll out has been tremendous. We also know that, for many reasons, some will not have a vaccine.
“Further, we do not believe it is right that we as premises and promoters should demand to see proof of medical records or health status. The majority of people in the UK have chosen to be vaccinated.
“There are many practical and logistical issues for us, alongside civil liberty and discrimination considerations more broadly for society, if venues or events insist on seeing health documents.”
“We will not be forcing our patrons to show us any documentation referring to health status to gain entry,” the letter further read.
Alan Miller, the co-founder of Night Time Industries Association, who organised the letter, said: “The British people have been diligent and remarkable over this last year, and we’ve all waited for so long to get back to normal.
“We were told in January that vaccines were our way out, and that we were on a one-way road to freedom. It is a far cry from freedom if we are put in the position where pubs, clubs, festivals, shows and venues of any kind are forced to demand health papers. We won’t be doing it.”