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Under 29s who have yet to be vaccinated could receive vouchers and discounts for taxis, cinema trips and food amid an attempt by No10 to boost vaccinations. The voucher scheme is expected to be launched before schools return in September.
Cabinet Ministers told the Telegraph Boris Johnson’s Government is desperate to increase the number of fully inoculated young adults.
At time of writing, only 67 percent of under 29s have had their first dose but ministers believe that, if the number can be increased to more than 80 percent, there will be no need for vaccine passports at venues such as nightclubs.
Taxi app firm Uber and online food delivery service Deliveroo are two major companies which will be offering incentives, but it is understood the scheme is likely to be expanded to include free cinema tickets and drinks at coffee shops.
One Whitehall source said: “This is just the start of it, we are expecting a number of other companies to get involved.
“We are looking to move quickly on this.”
Uber has agreed to offer free rides while Deliveroo is offering discounts on takeaway meals or shopping bills.
In a bid to get almost three million under 30s to receive a jab, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said Uber will be sending reminders to all users in August encouraging them to get their vaccine shot.
The DHSC told Sky News more details about other types of incentives will be released “in due course”.
They added the incentives “could include vouchers or discount codes for people attending pop-up vaccine sites and booking through the NHS, social media competitions and promotional offers for restaurants”.
Pizza Pilgrims, a restaurant chain in central London with around 10 branches, is offering discounts on meals.
Thom Elliot, Pizza Pilgrims Founder, said: “By making getting your jab as easy as grabbing a pizza, hopefully we can help our teams and our customers get both their first and second doses as easily and quickly as possible.”
Health Secretary Sajid Javid thanked businesses for “stepping up” to support the phenomenal British vaccine effort.
He further urged people to “take advantage of the discounts”.
Mr Javid said: “The lifesaving vaccines not only protect you, your loved ones and your community, but they are helping to bring us back together by allowing you to get back to doing the things you’ve missed.”
The incentives follow a recent decline in new Covid cases in the UK.
In mid-July, Covid cases rose to as many as 50,000 a day but have since begun declining – and now sit at 30,000 as of data collected on July 30.
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The voucher scheme also follows on from similar plans in Northern Ireland, the US and Greece.
Gordon Lyons, Northern Ireland economy minister, said adults would be able to claim £100 free shopping vouchers to aid high street recovery.
Greek premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis introduced a scheme to give vaccinated people a prepaid €150 (£128) digital card and US president Joe Biden similarly introduced a scheme last week to pay Americans $100 (£72) to get vaccinated.
President Biden said: “Please, please get vaccinated.
“We just need to finish the job.”
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