July 20, 2021 10.07 am This story is over 34 months old

‘Nightclub vaccine pass’ sparks backlash in Lincolnshire

Timing suggested to be “closing stable door after horse has bolted”

Growing numbers of revellers and nightclub industry professionals have shown anger at plans to require double vaccination proof at venue doors.

In Lincolnshire, people have accused the government of ‘blackmail’ and “closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that the measure could come into force in September amid rising cases in younger people.

Hundreds of Lincolnshire residents responded – many in opposition to the changes, which were announced on “Freedom Day”.

Health bosses in Lincolnshire, however, have said anything that encourages young people to take up the vaccine is “really good” and “positive”.

Among the comments was Rebecca Harker, who said: “If that […] isn’t bribery I don’t know what is!”

Meanwhile, Claire Bliss said: “Blackmail. It’s our body so our right and we shouldn’t feel blackmailed to do so.”

Gemma Barker commented: “What a bribe! You get two free months of clubbing and then you have to show us a vaccine passport to get in. So here’s a taster, enjoy it whilst it lasts because if you ain’t jabbed by September you ain’t getting back in.”

The excitement was in the air outside Kinky Disco, which opened at midnight as soon as COVID restrictions were lifted. | Photo: Kinky Disco

Several people criticised the government’s decision to wait several weeks.

Iain Simpson said: “If it’s that unsafe then it’s unsafe now, not in two months.”

Linda Belcher added: “A bit late after the horse has bolted.”

However, several were in support of the measures.

Karl Anders said: “As you’re not allowed to smoke next to anyone in case it damages their lungs then surely you shouldn’t be allowed to be unvaccinated and have asymptomatic Covid next to someone.

“The UK is on a knife-edge really…we could easily end up having to shut down again soon.”

Trish Latus added: “Let’s not be stupid, we know this virus isn’t going away, so slow and steady.

“We’re not suffering atrocities seen in so many countries on top of Covid. So let’s just hang back, be careful and be grateful.”

Lincolnshire County Council’s Assistant Director of Public Health Andy Fox said: “If it encourages young people to take up the offer of vaccination then I think that’s really good… there’s no reason not to get a vaccine.

“It’s not hard to get, they’re easy to do and there’s no downside. So if you want to go clubbing, go get the jab.”

He said in nightclubs “anyone could have asymptomatic COVID-19” and “no nightclub is free from COVID-19 transmission”.

“Vaccines did not just protect the individual but others around them,” he added.

People questioning the timing of the measures were making a “very good point” said Mr Fox, but he added there was “a fundamental logic” that government were expecting infection rates to rise but were not too afraid about seeing increasing numbers or significant illness.”