Friday 30 July 2021 1:35 pm

UK Government won't insist workers are jabbed to return to office, but rules out Covid passports

Workers being double-jabbed before returning to the office is a “good idea” but will not be a legal requirement, Grant Shapps said, and he today ruled out Covid passports for pubs and shops.

The Transport Secretary said some companies will require their staff to be fully vaccinated but it won’t become law.

Shapps said that although City boys and girls will need proof of vaccination for entry to nightclubs later this year, nobody will need them for a pint at the pub.

The Government has faced demands to recall Parliament amid concerns Covid vaccine passports have been introduced by “stealth” via the NHS app.

A tweak to the wording on the NHS Covid Pass section has raised concerns, as it now includes a “domestic” section, which states: “You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service.”

Shapps told ITV: “We won’t go as far as requiring it (proof of vaccination) to enter a shop or the pub.

“We will for very close contact things like going to nightclubs – other countries are for international travel – so I think there is precious little reason not to be vaccinated, every good reason to be vaccinated.

“Why wouldn’t we want to save lives? It’s just obvious to me.”

He said he did not know why the issue is “particularly controversial”, due to the high number of people who have already had jabs.

No jab, no job in the office?

Asked about people having both vaccine doses before they go back to the office, Shapps told Sky News: “It is a good idea and, yes, some companies will require it.

“We are not going to make that legislation that every adult has to be double-vaccinated before they go back to the office but, yes, it is a good idea and, yes, some companies will require it.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said while he can “see a case for vaccine passports”, he did not agree with a “jabs for jobs” approach.

He told broadcasters: “I can see a case for vaccine passports, alongside testing, when it comes to big sporting events or mass events, certainly for international travel.

“But for day-to-day routine – access to the office, access to health services or dentistry or even food – I don’t agree with vaccine passports for day-to-day access.”