Covid vaccine passports could be needed to get into clothes shops like Primark, H&M or Next, No10 admits

VACCINE passports could be needed to get into Primark, H&M or Next – as No10 admits mulling over using them for non-essential stores.

Shoppers might have to prove they have had a jab and are Covid-safe to enter clothes stores and other retail spots.

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Plans considered by the Government include the idea of the much-debated passports in non-essential shops.

No10 has said essential shops will never ask for Covid status certificates, but has yet to confirm if stores like Primark might require them for entry.

It could cause issues for people hoping to pick up new clothes, who have yet to be jabbed or haven't got antibodies from previously catching coronavirus.

A Downing Street spokesperson said today: "We have been clear we will not require them as businesses reopen as part of stages two and three.

"The PM is clear on longer term essential settings and services, eg essential retail and transport, where we believe they wont be required.

"We are looking at how Covid certificates could have an important role to play domestically as well as internationally.

"We will come forward with more detail in due course. We are taking this work forward and will consider all the evidence.

"Anyone asked to get the jab should come forward and do so."

'DISCRIMINATORY'

Vaccine passports are set to be introduced within months to get football matches, holidays, and packed pubs back.

A plan published by No 10 yesterday suggests the Government is on course to introduce Covid certificates in time for the end of lockdown on June 21.

The controversial blueprint to reopen the whole economy is being backed by Boris Johnson, but has sparked a rebellion amongst Tory MPs.

Earlier Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth told Sky News: "I do think it is discriminatory to say to somebody here in Leicester that you cannot go into Next or H&M unless you produce your vaccination status on an app, unless you produce that digital ID card.

"I don't think that is fair. Now if ministers are saying, that is not what the policy is then they have to explain why does the policy document they produced last night permit that scenario?"

Tom Ironside, Director of Business & Regulation at the BRC, said: “Having consulted with our retail members, we have concluded that neither voluntary nor compulsory vaccine certificates would be appropriate or useful in the retail setting. 

"Vaccination does not guarantee that an individual cannot pass on the virus, and we do not want to create false expectation for customers.

"Instead, we believe that following the strict safety protocols, including regular cleaning, a legal requirement for face coverings, and regular hand washing are the best course of action to protect staff and customers in stores.”

Under the scheme anyone who has been fully vaccinated would enjoy a free pass to return to normal life.

Those who have had Covid will be able to provide proof of their positive test, which is then valid for six months as evidence of antibodies.

Having consulted with our retail members, we have concluded that neither voluntary nor compulsory vaccine certificates would be appropriate or useful in the retail setting.

Everyone else will have to head to a test centre in the 24 hours before an event they want to attend and get a negative swab.

No10 insists the scheme is only temporary but may have to stay in place beyond the end of July when all adults will have been offered a vaccination.

It argues such drastic action will still be needed to avoid a surge in cases and a devastating third wave, despite the UK's successful jabs rollout.

And it says vaccine passports would "likely become a feature of our lives" anyway as business would introduce such requirements themselves.

The vaccine passport system will be trialled at nine pilot events over the next few weeks, where experts will also explore how high-tech ventilation and Covid tests on entry are working.

Mr Johnson will study the feedback to help decide how to manage other large-scale gatherings as restrictions are lifted.

The PM said: “We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”



 

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