UKHospitality has warned against prime minister Boris Johnson's proposals to use of a vaccine passport scheme as a condition of removing Covid restrictions within the hospitality sector.
The trade body has cautioned that a voluntary scheme would create confusion and inequality among businesses, customers and staff and would act as a de-facto open ended delay to the reopening process.
Calling the scheme "unworkable" and saying it would lead to further restrictions imposed at the worst possible time, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls comments: “It is crucial that visiting the pub and other parts of hospitality should not be subject to mandatory vaccination certification. It is simply unworkable, would cause conflict between staff and customers and almost certainty result in breaches of equality rules.
“Even introduced on a voluntary basis, vaccine passports have the potential to cause huge amounts of confusion among businesses, customers and staff. It could potentially give rise to a two-tier system of viability among businesses and a situation in which young staff members, due to be vaccinated last, are able to work in a pub, but not able to visit it socially."
The idea of asking drinkers and diners to show a vaccine certificate was raised at Wednesday's House of Commons Liaison Committee hearing when the prime minister said it "should not be totally alien to us".
Highlighting the fact that pubs and other hospitality businesses have spent a significant amount of time, energy and money ensuring their premises are safe and ready to welcome customers back in April and May, Kate adds: "We need to throw off the shackles of Coronavirus in line with the government’s roadmap; not impose more checks on our ability to socialise and do business.”