Sep 12, 2021 - World

U.K. won't require vaccine passports for crowded events, nightclubs

Health secretary Sajid Javid

Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images

U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC on Sunday that the country will not be moving forward with plans to implement vaccine passports for nightclubs and other large, crowded events.

Why it matters: The move marks an abrupt change of course after the vaccine passport plan came under growing criticism from conservative lawmakers. Just days earlier, the U.K.'s vaccines minister, Nadhim Zahawi, defended vaccine passports as the best way forward, the Associated Press reported.

The big picture: Javid said that he wasn't a fan of the vaccine passport idea personally but added that the plan will be kept "in reserve" should it prove necessary in the coming autumn or winter.

  • Javid said he had "never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers" to "do what is just an everyday activity."
  • "We just shouldn't be doing things for the sake of it or because others are doing, and we should look at every possible intervention properly."
  • “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."

State of play: While the U.K. was set to begin implementing the vaccine passports at the end of this month, other countries have already done so.

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