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Covid passport scheme rollout begins

Published:  15 December, 2021

The implementation of the government's 'Plan B' passport scheme begins today (December 15), despite a significant revolt among members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party.

Mandatory Covid passes (proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result) are now required for entry into nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, and unseated outdoor venues that can potentially host more than 4,000 visitors.

Despite the massive unrest witnessed across the Conservative back benches, Boris Johnson reportedly told his MPs there was “no choice” but to extend the remit of Covid-related restrictions.

As reported in the BBC, Dr Jenny Harries, chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency, warned the government that growth of the Omicron variant in the coming days would be "staggering".

Wales has been enforcing Covid passport rules since mid-November, while Scotland rolled out its scheme in October this year. This week, the Welsh Government's health minister Eluned Morgan admitted that further restrictions may be needed in December, warning that “nothing was off the table.”

Nicola Sturgeon has also issued repeated calls to the Scottish public to limit their socialising during Christmas 2021, causing yet more anxiety across the hospitality sector.

Morgan said it was likely additional restrictions would come in at the next Covid review by First Minister Mark Drakeford.