Covid: Will I need a 'vaccine passport' to go to the pub?

  • Video report by Ryan Dollard

Pub goers in Cumbria could have to prove they've had a vaccine in order to enjoy a drink inside when restrictions ease in May.

The Prime Minister told the Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday it may be left up to "individual publicans" as to whether they can ask for 'passports' to enter venues, but warned today that discussion of such a concept is "premature".

Landlord David Gartside, who owns The Linton Holme in Carlisle, has been preparing to open for weeks, but says the news of 'vaccine passports' has put a damper on his plans.

He told ITV Border: "Here we go again. We thought we had a clear path to opening and they've thrown this in again. It's a very complicated one for me. In theory it sounds OK.

"But if the immunisations haven't aren't up to date by the time I open it could mean people under 40 aren't allowed to come into the pub. Do I ban everyone under 40?"

Landlord David Gartside. Credit: ITV News

When do pubs and restaurants open in England?

The date to look for when it comes to pubs and restaurants is April 12, but this will be for outdoor seating only at this stage.

There will be no substantial meal requirement for alcohol orders and the rule of six will still apply.In terms of opening hours, no curfews will be set.

Indoor seating will open after May 17, with the rule of six restrictions still in place. After this date, there will be no limits to the number socialising outdoors.

Director of Public Health in Cumbria Colin Cox said: "I can see that there might be some attraction to that but I think there are lots of challenges.

"There's a huge number of practical and ethical questions around some of that - and who's going to enforce it will be a real challenge as well.

"But I can see as we start to move out of measures and vaccinations start to take a greater hold, that might look like an attractive option but I have to say I'm slightly hesitant about it."

On Thursday, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said discussions about vaccine certification for the industry are "premature" but said his government is "looking at the issues raised" by the concept.

He said: "Obviously, we are looking at the issues that are raised by vaccination certification, what can you do?

"There are three basic components. There's the vaccine, there's your immunity that you might have after you've had Covid, and then there's testing. There are three things that could work together.

"No decisions have been taken at all. One thing I will make clear is on April 12 when it will all be outdoors anyway."