Covid passes to be scrapped by end of month, say reports

Covid passports for large events are ‘to be scrapped’ by the end of the month, according to reports.

Health secretary Sajid Javid is set to axe the measures that force people to show their vaccination status or a recent negative test before entering large events and nightclubs, according to The Times.

The change could come before the end of the month, as the Omicron wave shows signs of abating.

The paper reports that the measures will be scrapped in the review on January 26, with only one rule continuing beyond that point.

Mask wearing is the measure that will stay, with people urged to continue donning face masks and coverings to protect themselves and others.

The paper quotes a Whitehall source as saying: “There was always a very high threshold for the policy and it looks increasingly likely in a couple of weeks that threshold won’t be met.

“The way cases are going it will be hard to justify renewing.”

The Covid pass measures came into law in December despite a large Tory rebellion, which saw 98 Conservative MPs vote against the government. The government had to rely on Labour votes to pass the measures.

The measures require over-18s to show a Covid pass or a recent negative test as a condition of entry to nightclubs, indoor crowded venues with a capacity of more than 500, outdoor events of 4,000 or more and any event with a capacity of more than 10,000 people.

The government has just reduced the period of self-isolation to five days, after data showed that around two-thirds of positive cases are no longer infectious by the end of day five.

And there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow.

Javid told the Commons: “Due to the lag between infections and hospitalisations, the NHS will remain under significant pressure over the next few weeks.

“It is encouraging, however, that during this wave we have not seen an increase in Covid-19 intensive care patients, and there are already early signs that the rate of hospitalisation is starting to slow.

“We know that Omicron is less severe. But no-one should be under any illusions – it is severe for anyone that ends up in hospital, and that’s far more likely if you have not had the jab.”

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