What the ‘Vaccine Passport’ Review Means for Restaurants and Pubs

As per the latest findings from the government’s review into Covid Status Certification, UK restaurants, pubs, bars, and cafes are reopening again effective from the 17th of May.

Yet, Cabinet Office Minister, Michael Gove, went on to confirm that these pubs and restaurants do not legally have to ask their customers to provide COVID vaccine passports before they enter their premises. This doesn’t mean that these commercial entities cannot ask their customers for vaccine passports or vaccination status independently, whatsoever.

This might contradict the first set of results published by the government at the beginning of April stating that cafes, restaurants, pubs, and bars may require their customers to produce a vaccination status. The government’s earlier reflections implied the need for a vaccine passport shortly.

However, so far, there isn’t any confirmation of sort to imply the date or the exact rules restaurants and bars should expect. Since lockdown measures are being lifted on the 21st of June, what is the impact that should be expected on restaurants and pubs in the UK? Keep reading to find out the latest government findings from their COVID Status Certification review.

Is the COVID-Status Certification Going to Contribute to Reopening Our Economy?

Although the government’s Health and Social Care Department relies on day-to-day statistics to layout its COVID roadmap, a spokesperson confirmed that COVID status certifications can play a huge role in resuming our economy.

The existence of COVID status certifications or vaccine passports in the UK can reduce social contact restrictions and lead to the reopening of public economical systems that massively deteriorated during the pandemic’s lockdown measures.

Still, the government’s roadmap demonstrates that they are still in the process of assessing the efficiency of vaccine passports when implemented alongside many of this approach’s aspects such as privacy, ethics, equalities, and other operational and legal aspects.

According to the government’s review, organizations have the freedom of asking their customers for a COVID status certification before the entry of their premises. This, of course, is applied under the condition that these businesses and organizations are compliant with equalities legislation.

So, there is still an implication that COVID vaccine passports can be imposed by UK restaurants and pubs. Since there is no way to confirm this statement at the time being, we can only hope for a similar solution to the excessive lockdown and social contact measures choking off our economy.

What About the Situation After Social Contact Limits Are Lifted on 21 June?

In favor of the vaccine passports news, the government’s latest review results are only applicable with social distancing in place. The reopening planned and prosecuted on 17 May still limits the capacity of most restaurants as per numerous restaurant review sites.

These restrictions and limitations definitely have an impact on their revenue causing many of them to become unviable. Of course, the government may not be able to offset the lost revenues, although the same social distancing and furlough measures will still be in place.

Not to mention how the government plans to lift all social contact limits on the 21st of June which is also in favor of the viral news about proof of vaccination. Will restaurants and pubs be allowed to ask their customers for COVID status certification after these late June plans?

This info actually remains undisclosed so there’s no way to tell if we’re going to be obligated to produce vaccine passports in the future. According to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in a written statement he sent to the House of Commons, the government will only be publishing its review conclusions on the 21st of June.

But we know that we don’t have to carry proof of vaccination to restaurants and bars for the present and until further notices have been released.

Can Children Carry Proof of Vaccination?

While many would think that vaccine passports only apply to adults who have had both of their vaccine doses, they’re called COVID status certification which means they include a lot more possibilities than that. To have proof of vaccination or a COVID status certification, you need to either be fully vaccinated, have a recent negative test, or the antibodies taken from a prior COVID-19 infection that took place within a given period of time.

These COVID status certification possibilities were chosen to ensure that proof of vaccination is not discriminatory. Therefore, anyone can produce a COVID status certification or carry a vaccine passport proving they’re safe to be in public. This means, that children will be able to get their own certificate.

Applying the rules to everyone equally might be a tough process to follow, but it’s the only way people will be able to have some peace of mind while they are enjoying their meals in their favorite restaurants.

Key Arguments

The main argument in favor of vaccine passports is allowing venues to open and reopening our economy. Many ministers, including the British Finance Minister, Rishi Sunak, have expressed their support for forcing passports on the public if they want to enjoy some time outside. These ministers have explained how these passports can be our only shot in getting things back to normal.

Others, however, feel that these passports will only put extra pressure on the hospitality industry, especially the staff who will be required to take on more on their plates than what their job descriptions originally stated. While this might seem like a struggle, many other ministers feel like it’s still the price that needs to be paid for people to reclaim their lives and for industries that depend on personal contact to boom.

Just like the debate is still going on between ministers, many people are also discussing whether this would help the economy and everyone of getting back to normal, or just add to the pressure.

Until any future announcements are made, restaurants and pubs need to sit tight and decide for themselves whether they would require people to carry their passports even if the government didn’t enforce any rules? This question carries a lot of weight on how the next few months will play out.