Retailers reject Covid vaccine certificates as they prepare to reopen

BRC John Lewis Marks & Spencer New West End Company
BRC and the New West End Company have warned that checking documents at the door would not be a viable initiative
// Retailers join pubs and clubs in rejecting Covid vaccination certificates
// Non-essential retailers in England are preparing to reopen from next week
// The certificates are intended to mark out people who have a low risk of passing on infection

Many retailers have joined the hospitality sector in rejecting Covid-19 vaccination certificates, as Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to introduce the new rule.

As non-essential retailers in England and Wales prepare to reopen from April 12, the BRC and the New West End Company have warned that checking documents at the door would not be a viable initiative.

“While Covid status certification may play an important role in certain activities, such as international travel, our members are clear that it would not be appropriate or useful in a retail setting,” BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said.


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“High streets and other shopping destinations rely on impulse and ad hoc purchases from customers who visit; this would be badly affected by the additional barriers to trade,” she said.

The certificates are intended to mark out people who have a low risk of passing on infection by indicating those who had received a Covid vaccine.

They are similar to the vaccine passports which have been mooted to enable international travel to restart.

New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell also rejected the idea and said the government should be considering all options that could get city centres thriving again.

“While the Covid passport may be the correct option for large capacity venues, we would not recommend using it for retail stores,” he said.

Opposition from the retail trade came as 41 Tory MPs vowed to oppose the certificates.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer gave his strongest indication yet that he would vote against the scheme.

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