Nightclubbers in Britain will have to prove they are fully vaccinated against coronavirus, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday, as the government also announced shots for clinically vulnerable children.
“We’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough,” Johnson said Monday as legal restrictions in England were lifted.
The policy will be implemented from late September.
As another virus wave mounts, Britain has yet to decide which venues and events will be affected, although Johnson is reluctant to hit pubs with the checks.
Around 70% of adults in Britain are fully inoculated, but the rollout has slowed in recent weeks, with younger people more hesitant.
Johnson said Monday that around 35% of 18 to 30-year-olds were unvaccinated, warning that “some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination”.
Cases are hitting levels not seen since winter, although deaths and hospitalisations remain relatively low.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi warned “these numbers will get worse before they get better”.
Zahawi earlier said that young people aged 12 to 15 with severe neuro-disabilities, Down’s Syndrome, immunosuppression and multiple or severe learning disabilities will be eligible for vaccination.
However, not all children will be invited as a review into possible side effects is still going on.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said shots would begin “as soon as possible” through the National Health Service (NHS).
Britain’s medicines regulator has already approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for youngsters aged 12 and over, noted Javid – who is currently self-isolating after contracting COVID-19.
Scientists on Britain’s independent JCVI vaccine committee would look later at whether to vaccinate healthy under-18s, he added.
Anyone turning 18 within the next three months will also be offered a shot.
Zahawi told Sky News that the JCVI needed to look into cases of inflammation of the heart in some vaccinated children.
He added that plans were being drawn up for a potential round of booster shots before the winter.
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