Pub goers might be asked to supply a vaccine certificate, Boris Johnson has told MPs, saying it “maybe up to individual publicans”.
A review is looking into whether people should need to prove they need been vaccinated, as lockdown measures ease.
A government source told that the choice of allowing people to point out a negative test was also being checked out.
But Tory MP Steve Baker said it had been a “ghastly trap” and unfairly penalized those advised to not have a vaccine.
Meanwhile, MPs will vote afterward new coronavirus laws for England’s roadmap out of lockdown.
They will even be asked to approve the government’s decision to renew emergency coronavirus powers for an additional six months. The Coronavirus Act was introduced in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
The government review of vaccine certification could report in May to coincide with the broader reopening of hospitality in England, consistent with a senior government source.
The review is watching how people’s vaccination and testing status might be stored securely and displayed on a mobile, and therefore the circumstances under which such a system could apply.
The idea of asking pub-goers to point out a vaccine certificate was raised at Wednesday’s House of Commons Liaison Committee hearing when Conservative William Wragg asked Mr. Johnson if vaccine certificates were “compatible with a free society like ours”.
Mr. Johnson said the concept “should not be alien to us” as doctors have already got to possess hepatitis B jabs.
Mr. Wragg then asked, what about “ordinary citizens getting to the pub?” and therefore the prime minister replied: “That’s the type of thing which will be up to individual publicans.”
Pushed further, Mr. Johnson said: “I find myself during this long national conversation thinking very deeply about it” adding that the general public “want me as prime minister to require all the action I can to guard them”.
Mr. Johnson also said it seemed “wholly responsible” for care companies to need their workers to be vaccinated and “the principle is there” in terms of professions requiring certain vaccines when “entrusted with the care of a patient”.
Jonathan Neame, chief executive of the Shepherd Neame pub chain, said his company wouldn’t enforce vaccine certificates.
He said: “The whole essence of a pub is that they’re diverse and inclusive environments, where everybody, and families, especially, are extremely welcome.”
He added: “It’s absolutely fine to exclude people where there’s a situation of bad behaviour or drunkenness, and that is already enshrined in law, but if you are going to exclude people for what they’re, or what they need not done, that’s an entirely different issue which does touch on discrimination, civil liberties, and during this case data protection issues.”
Peter Marks, from nightclub owner the Deltic Group, said a vaccine certificate “could work” for the world and would probably be accepted by customers who already want to carry IDs to urge into venues. However, he said he was concerned introducing such a measure could delay the reopening of companies.