- The government's vaccine minister, Nadhim Zahawi, announced the news earlier today.
Clubs in England will require attendees to be fully vaccinated by the end of September, says government minister Nadhim Zahawi.
Zahawi, who has served as the minister of Covid-19 vaccine deployment since 2020, announced the changes in parliament earlier today, July 19th—the same day that nightclubs reopened restriction-free for the first time since March 2020.
"By the end of September everyone aged 18 and over will have the chance to receive full vaccination and the additional two weeks for that protection to really take hold," he said. "So at that point we plan to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient."
This news may come as a shock to the nightlife industry. Only last week, the government said it "encouraged" the use of the NHS COVID Pass—a kind of vaccine passport—but it wasn't a legal requirement. This shifted the onus of responsibility onto club owners and promoters, leaving them scrambling to present their entry policies ahead of reopening.
Zahawi added that the government will introduce "the appropriate exemptions" for those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), called the government's U-turn "an absolute shambles."
Credit: Krys Amon