After months of fiery debate on both sides of the political aisle in the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scaling back his original plans for COVID-19 vaccine passports.
U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said during a Sunday episode of The Andrew Marr Show that he “never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers,” to do what he says is “an everyday activity,” according to BBC.
“We just shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it or because others are doing, and we should look at every possible intervention properly,” he continued.
Javid was “pleased” to announce that the U.K. will not be moving forward with the vaccine passports, he told BBC. He also mentioned on the show that he is “not anticipating any more lockdowns,” although he wouldn’t rule out the possibility.
Instead of enforcing vaccine passports, the U.K. will renew its push for vaccinations.
The announcement to walk back the idea of making residents of the U.K. show their vaccine papers comes after Boris Johnson declared in July that by September the country would “make full vaccination the condition for entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.”
Prompting the change of heart was backlash from both political parties in Britain who accused the prime minister of government overreach.
According to BBC, The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) expressed concerns of possible discrimination cases and other liabilities.
NTIA revealed that England’s nightlife has taken a tremendous hit since May amid looming vaccine requirements. The group warned vaccine passports would do even more damage to the already waning industry.
In addition to scrapping vaccine passports, the U.K. is set to loosen travel restrictions, remove requirements for PCV tests for fully vaccinated travelers, and eliminate the ‘traffic-light system’ where certain countries were labeled green, yellow, and red, representing travel risk.