Pubs could ask customers for vaccine passports - here's what Boris Johnson said

(Photo: PA Images/PA Wire)

Pub landlords could ask punters to provide a negative Covid-19 test result or show their vaccine passport before they let them inside, the Prime Minister has said.

Boris Johnson made the suggestion on Wednesday while speaking at the Commons Liaison Committee.

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But critics have slammed the plan and said this could cause “conflict” between publicans and customers.

Ministers are currently reviewing the possibility of introducing a certificate, which shows that a person has either been vaccinated against the virus or tested negative as part of the drive to return to normality.

Combining the two is understood to be one option being considered to avoid discriminating against those who decline the jab for health, or other, reasons.

What did Boris Johnson say?

Conservative MP William Wragg, chairman of the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, asked the Prime Minister if "Covid vaccine certifications" could be required for pub-goers.

Mr Johnson replied: "I think that that's the kind of thing - it may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord."

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has been tasked with leading a review into the possible use of Covid status certificates as part of the road map for releasing England's lockdown.

Mr Johnson told MPs the "concept of vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us" as he referred to the requirement of doctors to be vaccinated against hepatitis B.

‘It is simply unworkable’

Pub landlords could be allowed to require customers to provide proof they are vaccinated against coronavirus, according to Boris Johnson (Photo: PA Images/PA Wire)

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: "It's crucial that visiting the pub and other parts of hospitality should not be subject to mandatory vaccination certification.

"It is simply unworkable, would cause conflict between staff and customers and almost certainty result in breaches of equality rules.

"Through the success of the vaccine rollout we need to throw off the shackles of coronavirus in line with the Government's roadmap, not impose more checks on our ability to socialise and do business."

A British Beer and Pub Association spokesperson said: "Our sector has already gone to extraordinary lengths to prepare for reopening and we do not believe a requirement for pubs to check whether someone has had the vaccine would be appropriate or necessary.

"We will continue to work closely with the Government in developing guidelines for a safe and sustainable reopening in April and May."