UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has revealed that COVID-19 vaccination passports will not be required for large sporting events in England.
It had been expected that the system would be introduced for nightclubs, music venues and sporting events such as football matches by the end of September, but this will not be the case.
The plan is set to be kept on hold if it is needed in the coming months. Under the scheme, people attending large gatherings would be required to either show proof that they have received two vaccinations against COVID-19, display a negative test or prove that they have finished self-isolating following a positive test.
Javid confirmed that the passports will not be introduced in the immediate future, telling the BBC: “We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it.”
Javid’s comments came after Members of Scottish Parliament last week voted in favour of implementing a COVID-19 passport scheme to enter nightclubs and large events in Scotland. The system will come into effect from October 1 and will apply to unseated indoor and outdoor live events with more than 4,000 people and any event with a capacity of more than 10,000 people present.
Plans to introduce a similar scheme in England have been met with opposition by the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), which welcomed Javid’s announcement. The Music Venue Trust has also supported the decision.
Javid added: “We’ve looked at it properly and, whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawai had previously suggested that the passport scheme would be introduced in England next month, by which point all over-18s will have had the chance to receive both doses of a vaccination.
A decision on whether Wales will introduce the passport system is expected this week. Northern Ireland will not be introducing the scheme.