Pub landlords can bar unvaccinated customers, Boris Johnson suggests


Pub landlord could be allowed to require punters to have coronavirus vaccine certificates before getting through the door, Boris Johnson has suggested.

Giving evidence to Select Committee chairs at the Liason Committee the PM said that your chance of getting a post-lockdown tipple could depend on if you’ve had the vaccine.

Asked if such a certificate could be required for the pub, Mr Johnson told the Commons Liaison Committee: “I think that that’s the kind of thing – it may be up to individual publicans, it may be up to the landlord.”

Beer gardens and outdoor restaurant spaces are then expected to reopen as part of step two, from April 12 at the earliest.

Indoor pubs and restaurants will not be allowed to reopen until step three, May 17 at the earliest.

It came as Mr Johnson said putting France on the travel “red list” was “something that we will have to look at”.

Mr Johnson was also quizzed about the value for money of test and trace

Any tougher measures would be due to concerns about the spread of the South African and Brazilian strains of coronavirus circulating in France.

“We will have to look at tougher measures, just because of this ambiguity about the effectiveness of the vaccines,” he said.

Home Affairs Committee chairwoman Yvette Cooper said “everyone understands that hauliers clearly can’t be covered by quarantine and carry on doing their vital job” but she asked “why are you not testing them?”

Mr Johnson said: “Tougher measures would have very serious disruption on those trade flows and that has to be balanced against the current ambiguity about the effectiveness of the vaccines on the variants.”

The Prime Minister also defended NHS Test and Trace as he said it enabled ministers to understand the pandemic in a “very granular way”.

Meg Hillier, chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee, asked the Prime Minister if he had any regrets about how the programme was rolled out for how much it cost.

A Parisian walks across the river Seine in front of the Eiffel Tower
France has sent several regions including its capital Paris into a a fresh four-week lockdown

“We give people support if they need it to isolate, councils have been given tens of millions of pounds extra to help people to isolate,” he told the Commons Liaison Committee.

“About nine million have been helped to isolate, who would otherwise have been in the transmission chain, and that’s a very valuable thing.

“But what Test and Trace really does, it enables us to know what is happening with the pandemic in a very granular way, and that is absolutely crucial if you are going to fight it.”

And as a war of words heated up with the EU Mr Johnson warned the “long-term damage” of blocking vaccines or vaccine components could be “considerable”.

Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Commons Health and Social Care Committee, asked if the UK ruled out taking “measured and proportionate retaliation” to vaccine exports being blocked by the EU.

“The partnership we have with our European colleagues is very, very important, we continue to work with them,” the Prime Minister told the Commons Liaison Committee.

“Vaccines, as you know, are the product of international co-operation. I don’t think that blockades of either vaccines or of ingredients for vaccines are sensible, and I think that the long-term damage done by blockades can be very considerable.

“I would just gently point out to anybody considering a blockade or an interruption of supply chains that companies may look at such actions and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments in countries where arbitrary blockades are imposed.”

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