Covid: Boris Johnson confirms vaccine certificates will come into force in September
ITV News Political Correspondent Dan Hewitt has the reaction to England's lockdown easing - and news of what comes next
Boris Johnson confirmed on Monday that Covid vaccine certificates will be required from the end of September to attend nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather in England.
Only those who can prove they have been double-jabbed will be allowed into venues, even proof of a negative test would not be acceptable.
It is thought the move is aimed at younger people to ensure they get vaccinated, as those aged between 18 and 25 have the lowest take up of jabs.
It comes as the government’s chief scientific adviser warned nightclubs could be "potential super spreading events" - despite the government allowing the venues to reopen in England earlier on Monday.
Watch Boris Johnson's Covid briefing in full:
A number of nightclubs in England opened at midnight on Monday to allow revellers their first chance to return to the dancefloor.
"Some of life's most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccinations," Mr Johnson said.
"Nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass as a means of entry."
Sir Patrick Vallance said the nightclub environment will allow Covid-19 to spread more easily.
Where will the data go next and how will the government react? ITV News Science Editor Tom Clarke and ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston explain
Speaking at the Downing Street press conference, Sir Patrick said: "Across the world, we’ve seen that nightclubs and venues where you’ve got lots of people indoors, crowded together, are a focus for potential super spreading events, and that has also been seen in terms of what’s happened in Holland and Israel where nightclubs opened, and you saw a big increase in cases.
"There’s no question that that is an environment in which spreading is easier, you’ve got lots of people quite close together, you’ve got the environment in which spreading becomes easier.
"And I would expect that with opening of nightclubs, we’ll continue to see an increase in cases and we will see outbreaks related to specific nightclubs as well.
"And that’s, again, why it’s so important that everybody comes and gets a vaccine, so that we can reduce the chance of spread, and we can reduce the chance of consequences of that spread."
The certificates will come into force at the end of September as it is anticipated that will give sufficient time to offer everyone over 18 the chance to have both doses.
"I don’t want to have to close nightclubs again - as they have elsewhere - but it does means nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing and make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry," Mr Johnson said.
"As we said last week, we reserve the right to mandate certification at any point, if it is necessary to reduce transmission.
"And I should serve notice now that by the end of September - when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed –we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather."
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It was also announced that frontline NHS staff and other key workers will not need to self-isolate if pinged by the Test and Trace app, as long as they have received two coronavirus vaccine doses.
There have been fears that medical, transport and other necessary services could have staff shortages due to the high number being told to self-isolate by the app.
The news comes on the day lockdown restrictions were lifted across England, allowing people greater freedoms.
The prime minister laid out a new list of key workers, which includes supermarket employees.
Mr Johnson set out measures to protect crucial services by loosening the self-isolation requirements for a “very small number” of critical workers.
“I want to assure you that we will protect crucial services – including the staffing of our hospitals and care homes, the supplies of food, water, electricity and medicines, the running of our trains, the protection of our borders, the defence of our realm – by making sure that a small number, a very small number, of named, fully-vaccinated critical workers are able to leave their isolation solely for the work that I have described,” he said.
UK chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said around 60% of those admitted to hospital with Covid are unvaccinated.
Sir Patrick had initially said 60% of hospitalisations were among double vaccinated people but issued a correction via his Twitter page later on Monday.
He told the briefing: “That’s not surprising, because the vaccines are not 100% effective.
"They’re very, very effective, but not 100%, and as a higher proportion of the population is double vaccinated, it’s inevitable that those 10% of that very large number remain at risk, and therefore will be amongst the people who both catch the infection and end up in hospital.”
The prime minister is currently at Chequers were he is working remotely after close contact Sajid Javid contracted Covid.
Mr Johnson performed a U-turn at the weekend, along with the chancellor, after originally saying he would not self-isolate, despite Mr Javid’s diagnosis, claiming he and Rishi Sunak would participate in a trial that would permit them to avoid doing so.
The government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said there were “high levels of Covid and they are increasing”.
He said the UK was quite close to the previous “winter wave” of infections.
He told the Downing Street briefing: “In the winter wave, we were up to around 60,000 people testing positive per day. We are now somewhere on towards 50,000. So we’re quite close to the size of the winter wave of infections and this is going to increase.”
Discussing hospital admissions, Sir Patrick said it was “a somewhat different picture” as the numbers are expected to increase, although not to the same extent as before.
“We do expect there to be over 1,000 people per day. Being hospitalised with Covid because of the increase in infections, but the rates should be lower than they have been previously because of the protective effects of vaccination,” he said.