Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks set to unveil new passport trials for venues.
According to The Daily Mail, the trials could start as early as next month and would see theatres and stadiums piloting the new passports initially, followed by pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas later on.
According to The Mail, the “pilot schemes will begin after work is completed on an updated version of the NHS Covid app” where users will be able to show whether or not they have been vaccinated.
Reports suggest Johnson will give the passports the go-ahead from Monday.
Last week, the PM responded to questions about the reopening of the UK’s performing arts sector during a 90-minute questioning from senior MPs.
Speaking to the Liaison Committee today on March 24, Johnson was asked by Conservative MP and chair of The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Julian Knight whether he would support government-backed insurance for festivals forced to cancel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Johnson did not say whether he would back the idea, but said: “We’ve got 1.57 billion that we’ve put into the sector to support it in all sorts of ways.”
He also said that he hoped for “A proper return to our cultural life in the autumn in a way that everybody would want.”
“I think one thing I don’t want to see is people unwilling to take risks on productions or performances on events,” Johnson continued, “because you think about what happened last year when we thought we could get things open. And then sadly, because of the way the pandemic went, we couldn’t move forward.”
He added that getting the industry up and running by the autumn will take “a huge amount of time, preparation and expense, and I totally get that. So that’s why we’re looking at what we’re doing to top-size some of the 1.57 billion to see if we can be useful in that way.
“There are difficulties with this whole business of indemnifying the entire sector, but that’s what we’re looking at.”