Mooted plans by the UK government to introduce requirements for fans at large events to provide a vaccine passport or proof of their Covid status have received a mixed response.
Boris Johnson’s government is under increasing pressure after a widespread loss of public confidence following its unconvincing response to allegations that senior officials held a Christmas party at the height of lockdown in 2020.
Amid the escalating controversy, the British prime minister made the predictably unpopular move on Wednesday to announce that pandemic measures would be tightened – leading to accusations of hypocrisy from critics.
Now a new report has claimed that new rules could be brought in within 48 hours requiring supporters attending Premier League matches to show contentious vaccine passports or prove they have recently tested negative.
| BREAKING: Premier League football clubs are ready to demand fans show vaccine passports to enter stadiums, starting from this weekend
— Football For All (@FootballlForAll) December 8, 2021
I disagreed with them entirely but my experience of vaccine passports is just that you queue up for gigs/football as normal and somebody comes down the queue and you show them your phone/a bit of paper and they just glance at it
— Major Charles Christmas (@JoeStephenson96) December 8, 2021
When the concept was initially raised, there were fears that a ‘two-tier’ society would be created between the vaccinated and those who have not had a jab.
Fans who are unable to produce their vaccination certification upon request at matches have been reminded to carry it until now.
They will now reportedly be turned away from games as part of planned spot checks, although the logistics behind carrying those out effectively among vast crowds is questionable.
“Spoke with some stewards at Manchester United yesterday evening,” claimed one reader.
“They say they don’t want to enforce Covid passes even if the Premier League insists due to potential law-breaking under discrimination laws and also for practicality reasons.”
PM Boris Johnson says England will move to plan B of covid restrictions:
– WFH guidance from Monday
– Masks in theatres and cinemas from Friday
– Vaccine passports for nightclubs and sports stadiums in a week
— Harry Horton (@harry_horton) December 8, 2021
Good luck with that mr liar PM
— Steve Carr CMILT (@stevejc66) December 8, 2021
Another sarcastically responded to the report: “Wow. It’s almost like they have decided this thing spreads in crowds.
“If we’d have known that two years ago, we could have acted quickly and saved a lot of lives.”
The new legislation will apply to major events and stadiums holding more than 10,000 people, according to The Times.
Unseated indoor events of more than 500 people and unseated outdoor events of more than 4,000 people will also be affected.
Spoke with some stewards at Manchester United yesterday evening. They say they don’t want to enforce covid passes even if the premier league insists, due to potential law breaking under discrimination laws and also practicality reasons.
— Unique Treble (@Unique_Treble) December 9, 2021
Wow. It’s almost like they have decided this thing spreads in crowds. If we’d have known that 2 years ago we could have acted quickly and saved a lot of lives
— John Lancaster (@Lancj1) December 9, 2021
Top-flight clubs are said to have initially suspected the move would require all fans to have taken a vaccine, although Johnson has said that a negative lateral flow test will be adequate.
Johnson has reportedly hinted that more restrictions could be placed on unvaccinated people.
That could affect players being selected for matches, with Premier League sides Manchester United and Brighton reputedly falling behind other teams in terms of vaccinated players.
League bosses said in October that 81 percent of players had received one jab, with more than two-thirds fully vaccinated.