Jimmy NsubugaWed, 24 March 2021, 7:51 pm
Appearing before the Commons Liaison Committee on Wednesday, the Prime Minister said the “basic concept of a vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us”.
He cited how surgeons were required to have a Hepatitis B shot to work.
Asked whether ordinary people going to the pub might need a coronavirus jab, Johnson said: “I think that that’s the kind of thing that may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord.”
Watch: Boris Johnson says pub landlords could demand COVID certificatesScroll back up to restore default view.
The PM told the committee the public had been “thinking very deeply” about such issues, adding: “My impression is that there is a huge wisdom in the public’s feeling about this.
“People, human beings, instinctively recognise when something is dangerous and nasty to them, and they can see that COVID is collectively a threat and they want us as their government, and me as the Prime Minister to take all the actions I can to protect them.”
Last month when he outlined England’s “roadmap” out of the coronavirus lockdown, Johnson ruled out any government-led vaccine passport scheme.
“What I don’t think we will have in this country is, as it were, vaccination passports to allow you to go to the pub, or something like that,” he said in February.
However, ministers have said some certification might be needed for international travel while considering whether care home staff required shots.
The PM has mandated senior minister Michael Gove to review the role that vaccine certification can have in society, including reopening hospitality venues, saying there were deep and complex ethical issues to explore.
The PM also said it is “wholly responsible” for care home companies to consider mandatory vaccinations for staff.
The chief executive of independent care provider Barchester Healthcare Pete Calveley said just 0.1% of potential recruits had declined a job offer since the company imposed its mandatory vaccination policy in mid-January.
He said he hoped the government would make vaccination mandatory for healthcare staff, describing it as a “professional duty”.
When asked about the resumption of international travel, Johnson admitted it was “looking difficult”.
He said: “On April 5, we’ll get the findings of the global travel taskforce and I’ll be setting out what I think may be possible from May 17.
“Things are looking difficult on the continent and we’ll have to look at the situation as it develops.”
Almost 29 million people have received their first vaccine dose in Britain already in the fastest rollout in Europe, and there have been calls to open up the economy faster because of the success of the vaccination programme.
If targets are met, pubs could reopen outside areas on 12 April, and they will then be allowed to welcome guests inside on 17 May before everything opens up fully on 21 June.