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UK 'shelves' Covid passports for pubs and restaurants - report

Mon 26 April 2021 13:24 | A A A

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(Sharecast News) - The government has "shelved" plans for Covid-19 passports in pubs and restaurants when they are allowed to reopen for indoor customers, according to a report.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has backtracked on the idea of making drinkers and diners show they are at low risk of spreading the disease. He raised the prospect of extending the certification programme to the hospitality industry in March in an appearance before MPs.

But many Conservative MPs and much of the hospitality sector reacted strongly against what appeared to be an off-the-cuff remark. The plan would have required customers to show they had been vaccinated, passed a recent test or had previously been infected with the virus.

A government source told Mail Online: "I would be amazed if we introduce Covid certification for hospitality this summer. The focus is more on big events and reopening sectors that we struggled to open last year."

Johnson has told officials instead to concentrate on a system to allow foreign travel and the reopening of venues such as theatres, sports grounds and nightclubs, the Mail said. Bars and restaurants were allowed to serve customers sitting outside from 12 April and indoor dining and drinking is scheduled to return in May.

Hospitality stocks rose after the report including Wagamana's parent The Restaurant Group, up 1.6% to 125.8p, JD Wetherspoon, which gained 1.4% to £13.96, and Franco Manca's owner Fulham Shore, up 1.5% to 17p. Mitchells & Butlers rose 1% to 320.7p at 13:45 BST.

Nik Antona, chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale, said: "Licensees will be breathing a sigh of relief today - especially as many are still getting to grips with new rules on registering all customers in groups for test and trace, and planning for indoor reopening in May.

"The government still has not provided any evidence that hospitality businesses have been a major vector for virus transmissions so we saw no reason why the sector should be singled out for more unfair treatment."

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