Vaccine passports in workplace is a 'good idea' says Shapps
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Workers being double-jabbed before returning to the office is a “good idea” but will not be a legal requirement, a Cabinet minister has said, as he ruled out Covid passports for pubs and shops. The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, said some companies will require their staff to be fully vaccinated but that the Government will not make it legislation. Sky News presenter Kay Burley asked: “Do you think like your colleague, the Foreign Secretary, it’s a good idea for people to be doubled jabbed and they should need to be double jabbed before they go back to the office.”
He said: “Yes, it’s a good idea and yes, some companies will require it.
“We’re not going to make that legislation that every adult has to be double vaccinated before they do back to the office but yes it’s a good idea.”
He also confirmed that while revellers will need proof of vaccination for entry to nightclubs later this year, it will not be needed to go to the pub.
The Government has faced demands to recall Parliament amid concerns Covid vaccine passports have been introduced by “stealth” via the NHS app.
A tweak to the wording on the NHS Covid Pass section has raised concerns, as it now includes a “domestic” section, which states: “You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service.”
Mr Shapps told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We won’t go as far as requiring it (proof of vaccination) to enter a shop or the pub.
“We will for very close contact things like going to nightclubs – other countries are for international travel – so I think there is precious little reason not to be vaccinated, every good reason to be vaccinated.
“Why wouldn’t we want to save lives? It’s just obvious to me.”
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He said he did not know why the issue is “particularly controversial”, due to the high number of people who have already had jabs.
He said: “For most people this doesn’t matter one way or the other.”
Liberal Democrat former minister, Alistair Carmichael, accused the Government of having “committed to vaccine passports by stealth” and said Parliament must be recalled to discuss the measure.
Parliament is in recess until September 6 and can only be recalled at the request of the Government.
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Asked about people having both vaccine doses before they go back to the office, Mr Shapps told Sky News: “It is a good idea and, yes, some companies will require it.
“We are not going to make that legislation that every adult has to be double-vaccinated before they go back to the office but, yes, it is a good idea and, yes, some companies will require it.”
Mr Shapps also indicated the Government is unlikely to budge on the August 16 date for people in England who are double-vaccinated no longer having to self-isolate if a contact tests positive for coronavirus, despite pressure as other nations move to drop the rule earlier.
Asked if the date is set in stone he told Sky: “Yeah, right now that is the date. We’ll always keep these things under review but I don’t want to open up false hope for you, it’s not too far away now.”
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