Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a press conference at Downing to confirm whether or not Freedom day—19 July—will proceed as expected. He announced that despite the ongoing third wave, many mandatory restrictions will be lifted in the coming week. The rule of six inside homes will be abolished, and as will the work-from-home guidance. Face masks will not be required, but Johnson has said that he would continue wearing them in crowded places and advises everyone else to do the same.
Vaccine passports for nightlife
In more controversial news, he has also brought vaccine passports back in the discussion. Instead of making it mandatory, he’s requested night clubs and large events ask partygoers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result. He’s leaving it up to the discretion of the respective establishments and organisers. He said:
As a matter of social responsibility we're urging nightclubs and other venues with large crowds to make use of the NHS Covid pass, which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity as a means of entry.
However, bar and club owners have not welcomed his suggestion. Peter Marks, chief executive of REKOM UK that has 42 nightclubs under its banner, said he was looking forward to opening his venues ‘at full capacity and without any requirement for a negative COVID test.' He told Mirror:
We're able to open in this way because nightclubs in particular are among the best equipped venues in the hospitality sector, and indeed were even prior to the pandemic, for the exact safety measures that are required to reduce the spread of the virus.
How to get your passport?
For those of you who would like to get your hands on the passport, you can do so by requesting an NHS COVID Pass on the NHS app or website.
Everyone who has been fully vaccinated will get a pass that lasts 28 days and it will be automatically renewed. Those who have not been vaccinated (or have only gotten one jab), but have a negative PCR or rapid lateral flow test will receive a pass that is valid for 48 hours after getting a negative result. While all those who have had a positive PCR test and have finished isolation can obtain a pass that is valid for 180 days.
Find out more on the NHS website.