Students at University could need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be able to attend lectures and stay in student halls this coming in this academic year.
“We aren’t ruling it out,” a senior government source has said, as it is reported that Boris Johnson is “pushing” the idea to increase vaccine uptake among young people
“We aren’t ruling it out,” a senior government source has spoken about the prospect of mandating coronavirus vaccination passports for universities.
According to a report within The Times newspaper, Boris Johnson is said to have been “pushing” the idea, although there would be medical exemptions to these rules.
This comes after two-thirds of adults within the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health secretary has announced. Sajid Javid has said on Twitter: “Two-thirds of adults across the UK have now had two jabs.
The prime minister is reportedly “raging” at low vaccine uptake among young people in the UK and wants to apply pressure in order to increase the numbers of those coming forward for a vaccination, the report has added.
But asked by Kay Burley on Sky News whether or not students would need to be fully-vaccinated in order to enjoy a normal university experience, Vicky Ford, the UK’s education minister replied: “No. We must make sure we continue to prioritise education.”
Ms Ford did say that receiving two doses of a vaccine would “minimise disruption” for university students as they would then not be required to isolate if they are identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.
This comes after it was reported at the weekend that potential vaccine passports could be required in order to attend seated events with a capacity of over 20,000 people, including at football matches, as well as at other sporting events, from October.
For unseated events such as live music performances, the threshold for their introduction could be as low as just 5,000 attendees.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week, UK vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said that the COVID-19 vaccine passports could be introduced within both sporting and business events, as well as music venues and festivals in addition to the nation’s nightclubs.
But he told MPs in the Commons that individuals will not have to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status, full vaccination, a recent negative test for the virus or evidence of natural immunity following a recovery from the coronavirus to access either schools and universities.
This comes after a 3% pay rise from the UK government to NHS staff within England has been heavily criticised as being “paltry”, “appalling” and “shambolic” by medical union leaders. Those who are receiving the increase, which is backdated to April of 2021, include nurses, consultants, paramedics, and dentists, as well as salaried GPs.
It came following the government had announced that providing proof of double vaccination for the virus will be required to enter the nation’s nightclubs and other “crowded venues” from the end of September, with proof of a negative COVID-19 test not accepted.
A government minister had also did not explicitly rule out the prospect of the government requiring coronavirus vaccine passports for people to go to pubs when questioned by Sky News.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer has said he wants to be “pragmatic” on the potential widespread use of vaccine passports, but stressed the importance of people also being able to provide proof of a recent negative test to demonstrate their COVID status.