Every evening from around 10pm, the front pages of the following day’s newspapers start to come in. I occasionally have a look at them, and whilst taking a peep last night, I caught the front page of today’s Daily Telegraph. It featured the eye-catching headline of “Vaccine passports could push people to pubs”.
And it’s quite a good story, as it happens. Their journalist has seen a confidential document going around within government talking about the “economic and social impact of Covid certification”. The report in question has a revealing section in it, discussing one of the risks with the vaccine passport policy. This document relates to England – Scotland already has such a policy in place, and Wales has a policy of requesting a negative test or vaccine status.
The document reads “A core concern is that certification could displace activity and business away from music venues to, say, pubs with music and late alcohol licences… if certification displaces some fans from structured and well-ventilated sports stadia, this could lead to the, attending unstructured and poorly ventilated pubs instead where they will have access to more alcohol than if they were in the stadia.”.
In other words, people who are being turned away from nightclubs because they can’t prove their vaccine status or haven’t been vaccinated against Covid-19 are likely to go to pubs instead – because no proof will be requested there. And they’re going to get drunk, start putting their arms around everyone – and then start showing symptoms of Covid a week later. Or so the message appears to be here.
It’s also a problem for the pub trade. If contact tracers start reporting more and more cases are originating from pubs, the Government will eventually take notice. No one quite knows how they’d respond – and with enough uncertainty at the moment, more won’t help.
If vaccines stopped you from catching Covid and transmiting it, vaccine passports might be something I’d be prepared to tolerate. But as it stands, this has got to be one of the worst ideas that any modern government has ever pushed through…