A couple of weeks ago, I posted about the appalling decision in Northern Ireland to introduce vaccine passports for hospitality venues. At the time, it wasn’t made clear whether this would apply to all premises, or just licensed ones. However, it has now been clarified that it will only cover licensed premises.
This comes across as yet more stigmatisation of the pub trade. Alcohol doesn’t somehow magically stimulate the virus, and surely, if the scheme is going to be effective at all, the possibility of transmission from unvaccinated customers would be just as great in cafés and coffee shops. It’s nothing to do with health or disease control, it’s just a tactic to coerce people into getting vaccinated.
It’s possible that some restaurants such as Nando’s where alcohol sales are only a minor part of their business may decide to stop selling alcohol entirely to avoid the restriction. This wouldn’t only allow them to serve unvaccinated customers, but also vaccinated people who object to passports on principle, and those who simply don’t want the faff.
And how long will it be before the booster jab is brought within the scope of the passports? And then the one after that? You’ll be signed up for life if you want to continue going to the pub.