ALMOST two thirds of consumers would be comfortable with hospitality venues requiring them to show a vaccine ‘passport’, according to new research.

In a poll of 1200 consumers undertaken by hospitality tech firm TWC, 65% of respondents said they felt comfortable with pub or restaurant owners requiring customers to hold a vaccine passport or certificate. Only 16% of respondents said they did not think it was acceptable for venues to require proof of vaccination.

Tom Fender of TWC said the research “shows that there is a great deal of pent-up demand from consumers who want to get out and about and back into hospitality establishments”.

“And there is a high proportion of people who genuinely do not see being asked for a vaccine passport as an issue, if it means that some freedom is allowed in being able to open up and resume some normalcy,” said Fender.

“And whilst those aged 18 to 34 are the last group destined to have a vaccine – there is an irony that this was the most supportive group in respect of vaccine passports.”

The introduction of vaccine passports has been opposed by trade groups, with UK Hospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, recently saying they would be “very difficult to implement and [place] a huge amount of additional stress on an industry that has suffered enough”.

“Such a scheme would [hinder] the ability of thousands of hospitality businesses to return to sustainable levels of trade, to recover and to be viable, and we urge the government to avoid this at every stage, and at all costs,” said Nicholls.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is keeping an open mind about the introduction of vaccine certifications, but there would need to be a public discussion before any system was introduced.

“What I think we need to do with the concept of vaccine passports and vaccine certification is not close our minds to it,” said the first minister on Tuesday (6th April).

“We all want to get back to normal so anything that can play a part in getting us back to normal is something we should think about very carefully.

“But nor should we just gloss over the practical and ethical issues that we have to think through properly. And I think that if we are going to have a system of vaccine certification then it’s really important that if the public are going to have confidence in that and if there’s going to be buy-in and acceptance of that then we have taken the time – openly, not behind closed doors in government buildings but openly with the public – aired all the issues and aired some of the challenges in that.”

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