Boris Johnson outlined the full details of the UK’s Covid winter plan to battle the killer virus in the months to come.
Vaccine passports and the legally mandated wearing of face masks are part of a “Plan B” drawn up to tackle Covid this winter if the NHS comes under unsustainable pressure, Sajid Javid had announced earlier in the day.
The health secretary addressed the House of Commons on the government’s contingency plans to tackle a feared surge in the virus in the coming months.
Mr Javid also confirmed booster doses will start to be administered from next week. Third shots will also be given to those in care homes and frontline health and social care workers.
It follows a warning the UK faces a “rough winter” due to the combination of coronavirus, flu and other respiratory conditions.
That package of reserve measures includes barring non-vaccinated people from crowded venues, the return of compulsory mask-wearing and work from home guidance.
“We have not faced a winter with the Delta variant,” Professor Whitty told a Downing Street press conference.
‘So it is possible that the combination of winter events plus the Delta variant, which is highly transmissible, could lead to a situation where, on basis of the data, ministers decide that they wanted to trigger all or some of the Plan B.”
On so-called “vaccine passports – after the type of events that the unjabbed will be denied entry to, if necessary, was set out – Mr Johnson said he believed they would not be necessary.
However, he acknowledged it might become a choice between imposing vaccine certificates and shutting down events altogether.