The Vaccine Passport - news and views

States, counties, and cities may have quarantine requirements after international travel for unvaccinated travelers, however.

Here in England we’re on the cusp of vaccine passport use for access to events, and reasons other than travel. In order to properly explain this I need to provide some political background (apologies).

We have a government which is committed to lifting restrictions, whilst at the same time not wanting to because of the obvious risks of doing so (especially with the Delta variant widespread and COVID cases currently rising steeply). Which leads to this sort of weirdness:

While virtually all legal restrictions will be lifted, some guidance will remain.

For example, the legal requirement to wear face coverings in some enclosed public places will be removed but Mr Javid said they were still “expected and recommended” in crowded indoor areas.

Not legally required, but expected and recommended. We have some stores saying that they would prefer customers to wear masks; and indeed some saying that wearing a mask will be a requirement to enter.

Anyway - what’s this got to do with the vaccine passport? Well:

Nightclubs and other large event organisers are being advised they should ask for proof that people have had their jabs.

Confirming that most Covid rules in England will be lifted on 19 July, Health Secretary Sajid Javid encouraged event organisers to require attendees to show so-called vaccine passports.

They show a person has natural immunity after contracting Covid, that they are double-jabbed or tested negative.

“Double jabbed” being a quaint Britishism for fully vaccinated. The vaccine passport is the one I described in post #66 of this thread - a smartphone app (although you can go to your GP and get a paper version for travel, at least.) Again - not legally required, at least at the moment. Venues are licensed by local authorities, of course, so they’re not in a position to be reckless and ignore government “advice”.

So here we are: organisers of “large events” are being put in a position where they are more or less obliged to insist that you come with your passport. They are not happy with the lack of legal certainty.

Government guidance urging nightclubs to make their customers show Covid passports has been branded unfair and unworkable by those running them.

[Mr Moffat said] "It’s not fair - the government should either mandate something or not mandate it.

“They’ve been writing cheques of hope that we can’t cash. Confidence is slipping away and we’re the ones to suffer.”

As I said, on the cusp. We’ll see how this goes.

j

Aaaand…Over the cusp we go! It took all of six days. COVID passports mandatory (in England) to attend “nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather” from the end of September.

People attending nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England will need to be fully vaccinated from the end of September, the government says.

…“So, ‘freedom day’ for nightclubs lasted around 17 hours then,” said Michael Kill, boss of the Night Time Industries Association.

(This is a reference to today, 19 July, being “Freedom Day” when all restrictions (it was promised) would be lifted. 19 hours elapsed time from midnight until the announcement).

It’s actually worth giving the full article a read (it’s not that long).

To be clear, I think the use of vaccine passports in this way, to coerce compliance with vaccination programs, is the sensible and correct thing to do. But the way it has been handled is just inept. Who would be a nightclub door-person tonight? (When nightclubs, opening for the first time in 18 months, are being “encouraged” to ask for proof of vaccination, despite the fact that 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds have not yet had their first vaccination).

Excuse me twenty-five year old drunken sir and your five drunken friends, may I be favored with evidence of your vaccination status?

Jeez - not a job I would want.

j

Well, not having a vaccine passport wouldn’t be the most ridiculous reason to be denied entry to a nightclub. I mean, I am assuming they check ID at the door to make sure everyone is of legal age, right?

Right. Also, a lot of people cries of “coercive” against passports lose potency when it’s both somewhere you’re guaranteed to have people with lowered inhibitions not social distancing and this frivolous an activity. I’d be happy to hear US bars and sports/concert venues that thrive on alcohol sales only allowing the vaccinated too.

Ultimately, we end up in this Catch-22 situation where people are screaming publicly that the vaccinated should not have to be inconvenienced for the unvaccinated…but resist any attempts to either compel people to get vaccinated or indeed to even confirm that they are.

There’s a lot of content in the articles I posted, and I was keeping the amount quoted down for reasons for “fair use”. But let me expand.

The problem is that, unlike the enforcement of age restrictions, nightclubs (and other events) are being told they should request proof of vaccination whilst there is actually no requirement for a customer to provide it, or even to have been vaccinated. There will be in October; but in the meantime…what? Venue operators are being put in the ridiculous position of having to request compliance where compliance is not a legal requirement. That would be bad enough at a tennis match, but when it’s midnight and your customers are frisky/rowdy drunken young men who have been unable to party for 18 months - yikes. Not a situation I would be wanting to control.

j

It’s been a while for me, but I don’t think I’ve ever been asked for proof of age to get into a club. It’s not that big a thing here, unless someone looks very borderline - and remember, the drinking age is 18 (and it’s not standard to carry ID for anyone beyond their early 20s).

I’ve never seen bouncers having any qualms about refusing entry to people who are very drunk. It’s what they’re there for.

Yeah, but there’s nothing to be gained by making their job more difficult. It was a point that was raised by an industry guy in one of the articles I read - I thought it was in the last link I posted, but apparently not.

j

But that’s the world we’re living in now, isn’t it. It’s harder for lots of people.

That surprises me, to be quite honest. I am aware of the UK drinking age of 18, and I would think that would make pub and nightclub owners more vigilant about policing IDs. There’s a lot of 18 year olds out there who look younger than their years, and a lot of underage kids who look older. I guess that’s just how society is over there.

Also, why on earth is the government waiting until October to try to legally compel vaccination records? Why not just do it now, for goodness sake? Is BoJo really this incompetent?

Underage drinking is just something we do, I was in pubs from about the age of 15. Of course, this was a while ago, they may well be more vigilant now, but there just isn’t the ferocious policing of alcohol here like there is in the US. Heck, we can drink beer or wine with a meal from the age of 16 in pubs and restaurants if we’re with adults.

Because the under 30s are only now being vaccinated, and with government policy being to wait 8 weeks between vaccinations, that means we won’t have caught up until September.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s all ridiculous

It certainly does sound ridiculous. 8 weeks? We’ve been going only half the time between shots over here.

It was a deliberate tactic to try and get a first shot into as many people as possible. I believe Canada did something similar.