According to a leaked government report, vaccine passports may actually exacerbate the spread of COVID by encouraging people to visit smaller, less ventilated venues.
According to a report compiled by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport [DCMS], implementing the scheme may have the opposite effect intended.
“If certification displaces some fans from structured and well ventilated sports stadia, this could lead to them attending unstructured and poorly ventilated pubs instead, where they will have access to more alcohol than if there were in the stadia,” states the report. “Evidence from the Euros showed spikes in cases associated with pubs even when England were playing abroad.”
“The policy would also slash turnover for the organisers of events required to use vaccine passports, and necessitate the hiring of thousands of new stewards which may be hard to deliver,” reports the Telegraph.
After Scotland attempted to implement vaccine passports, the process was dubbed a “unmitigated disaster,” with nightclub employees receiving abuse and the technology repeatedly failing.
Many venues chose to close early and lost 40% of their footfall, demonstrating once again how the scheme will force numerous nightclubs with a profit margin of 15% out of business for good.
Another example of how vaccine passports are largely ineffective is that providing a negative test is no longer an option, despite the fact that the vaccinated can still transmit the virus.
Vaccine passports could increase spread of COVID
“There is potential displacement between live events venues and hospitality venues,” the Telegraph quoted the document as saying.
“A core concern in the sector is that certification could displace activity and business away from music venues to, say, pubs with music and late alcohol licenses, etc which could be counterintuitive and potentially counterproductive.
Similarly, if certification displaces some fans from structured and well-ventilated sports stadiums, this could lead to them attending unstructured and poorly ventilated pubs instead, where they will have access to more alcohol than if they were in the stadia.
“Evidence from the Euros showed spikes in cases associated with pubs even when England were playing abroad.”
Should the government introduce vaccine passports in the event of it launching plan B, certification will be required at nightclubs, indoor settings with 500 plus attendees, outdoor settings with 4,000 plus attendees, and any other venue with 10,000 plus attendees.
A DCMS spokesperson told the Telegraph there is “currently no evidence to suggest that businesses have been impacted by lower attendance when certification is used, with various venues already using this on entry throughout the year”.
He added: “Plan B is as published in the autumn and winter plan and this document does not represent government policy. We have been clear throughout that we would only implement plan B if evidence suggested the NHS was going to come under unsustainable pressure.”