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Covid-19 Passports For Clothes Shops After 21 June Not Ruled Out

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Covid-19 Passports For Clothes Shops After 21 June Not Ruled Out

The government hasn't ruled out the possibility of Covid-19 passports being needed in clothes shops after 21 June.

Covid certificates - indicating whether someone has been vaccinated, been recently tested or developed immunity through recent infection - are being considered by the government, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a decision was yet to be made and they wouldn't come into effect during the next two stages of easing lockdown in England.

However, when asked whether they could be needed in clothes shops after the final stage of easing, a Downing Street spokesperson elected not to rule it out.

The government hasn't ruled out Covid passports for clothes shops after 21 June. Credit: PA
The government hasn't ruled out Covid passports for clothes shops after 21 June. Credit: PA
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Speaking to The Independent, they said: "We have been clear that we will not require them as businesses reopen in stages two and three of the roadmap.

"But again the PM was clear that longer term there will some essential services such as essential retail and public transport where they will not be required."

The government said such certificates could 'provide reassurance', but such a move would be controversial, with Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth branding them 'discriminatory'.

He said: "I'm not going to support a policy that, here in my Leicester constituency, if someone wants to go into Next or H&M, they have to produce a vaccination certificate on their phone, on an app. I think that's discriminatory."

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England is set to begin Step Two of lockdown easing next Monday (12 April), which will see outdoor hospitality, gyms, libraries, all retail, and outdoor attractions reopen.

All being well, Step Three will begin on 17 May and will enable groups of up to 30 to meet outdoors, hospitality to reopen indoors, cinemas to reopen and organised indoor sport to recommence.

International travel will also be allowed - although there will be numerous restrictions and procedures in place.

Step Four will begin no earlier than 21 June, at which point there will be no legal limits on social contact, enabling nightclubs to reopen and large events to go ahead.

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Advancing through each step as scheduled is dependent on the following four measures being met:

  • The vaccine deployment programme is continuing successfully.
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated.
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which would put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
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  • The assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants.

Tom Ironside of the British Retail Consortium told The Independent: "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."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Covid-19

Jake Massey
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