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Covid passports will only reduce transmission by five percent, report claims

"These passports would cost the live music industry billions of pounds," said one industry boss

By Nick Reilly

A stock photo of a night club
(Picture: Press)

A leaked government document has reportedly suggested that the effectiveness of vaccine passports is far less than initially anticipated.

A government impact assessment, seen by the Telegraph, also claims that the passports may be “counterintuitive” as they push people away from larger venues in favour of pubs with insufficient ventilation.

The research, which outlines the impact of the government’s potential Plan B for the winter, was conducted by the UK Treasury and the Cabinet Office’s COVID-19 Taskforce, according to the publication.

It found that COVID certification scheme would reduce transmission at mass events by 40-45 per cent.

However, the report also warned that only two to 13 per cent of overall transmission takes place in venues covered by the scheme, which could result in a “moderate impact from reduced community transmission.”

As a result of this, the figures suggest vaccine passports would reduce overall community transmission by just one to five per cent.

Reacting to the findings, Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) said: “Today’s news confirms that a move to mandatory vaccine passports would be a mistake. These passports would cost the live music industry billions of pounds while aspects of the roll out would be impractical and potentially dangerous.

“Our industry has been unjustifiably held to a higher standard than any other throughout the pandemic. Now the government’s own impact assessment makes it clear that far from reducing transmission rates, insisting on mandatory vaccine passports in venues is likely to do the exact opposite.

“Across the country, music venues and events already have tried, tested and workable systems in place to ensure that live events continue to be safe. As one of the hardest hit industries throughout the pandemic the government should be focused on supporting us to rebuild, not forcing these unworkable conditions upon us.”

Meanwhile, reports last week suggested concerns are growing within the UK music industry over the government’s £800million insurance scheme for live events and festivals.

The UK Live Events Reinsurance Scheme was announced in August, and is due to run until September 30, 2022. It sees the government acting as a “reinsurer”, aiming to “give events the confidence they need to plan through to summer 2022” amid the ongoing COVID pandemic.

It is in place to protect shows and festivals that are impacted “due to new UK Civil Authority restrictions in response to COVID-19”. However, it was confirmed last month that the scheme “does not cover self-isolation” of touring musicians and their crew. Additionally, it doesn’t include “loss of revenue prompted by lower demand for tickets or venue capacity”.