UK to require proof of full vaccination for crowded venues, Johnson says

UK to require proof of full vaccination for crowded venues, Johnson says
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British nightclubs and other crowded venues will require proof of full COVID-19 vaccination upon entry later this year, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press conference on Monday.

The requirement will begin at the end of September when "all over 18s will have had their chance to be double jabbed," Johnson said. Proof of a negative COVID-19 test will no longer be enough to enter crowded locations. 

The prime minister spoke virtually from his home, where he is self-isolating after contact with Britain's health minister, who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

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Johnson says 35 percent of Britons aged 18-30, about 3 million people, are still unvaccinated. 

"I don't want to have to close nightclubs again as they have elsewhere," he said. "But it does mean nightclubs need to do the socially responsible thing."

Johnson previously lifted most of the U.K.'s COVID-19 restrictions despite the country's rise in cases. He defended that decision during Monday's press conference, asking, "If not now, when?"

Representatives of the hospitality and entertainment industries criticized the prime minister's announcement, calling it "a hammer blow" as they try to rebuild.

"Covid passports will be a costly burden that run the risk of creating flashpoints between staff and customers, as well as raising potential issues with equalities legislation and the handling of customer data," Kate Nicholls, head of UK Hospitality, told the BBC

Member of Parliament Mark Harper also criticized Johnson's decision, calling it a move toward "compulsory vaccinations."