The Daily Mail:
- Ministers are set to shelve plans for the mandatory use of ‘Covid certification’
- Plans for pubs and restaurants had already been put on the backburner
- The Mail can now reveal that ministers have also dropped the idea of imposing them on mass events
Covid passports will NOT be compulsory at music festivals, sports events and other mass gatherings when lockdown restrictions are lifted next month.
Ministers are set to shelve plans for the mandatory use of ‘Covid certification’ after Freedom Day on July 19.
Plans for pubs and restaurants had already been put on the backburner following a backlash from MPs and the hospitality sector.
The Mail can now reveal that ministers have also dropped the idea of imposing them on mass events. Organisers will, however, be permitted to run their own schemes, with the Premier League among those expected to introduce some form of certification to prove those attending football grounds do not pose a Covid risk.
The move comes amid growing confidence that Boris Johnson will press ahead with plans to lift social distancing rules next month despite a surge in Covid cases.
He told the Cabinet yesterday that our vaccination success means Britain will be able to ‘live with Covid’ because the link between virus cases and hospitalisations has been broken.
Yesterday saw another 20,479 cases – with the seven-day total up 70 per cent in a week – but one government source said Freedom Day would go ahead as planned even if cases are more than twice as high as they are now.
‘We need to get used to the idea of treating Covid more like flu,’ the source said. ‘People have the flu vaccine, which helps reduce serious illness, but we still get large numbers of cases and significant numbers of deaths.
‘When we get to July 19, cases look like they will be potentially very high, perhaps as many as 30,000 or 40,000 per day. But that is not in itself a reason not to go ahead, provided hospitalisations and deaths remain at relatively low levels.’
Hospital admissions have risen by just over 10 per cent in the last week, with an average daily death toll of 17 – less than 2 per cent of the levels seen in January. Another 23 deaths were announced yesterday.