Passports before pints is "immoral and impractical" warns Leeds city centre bar owner

Bar bosses in Leeds say that making punters have a COVID 'passport' before they can have a pint is "immoral and impractical."

Friday, 26th March 2021, 10:55 am
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 10:56 am

Ministers are currently reviewing the possible introduction of vaccination certificates to allow patrons to enter pubs, bars and restaurants when lockdown restrictions begin to ease on April 12 and May 17.

Boris Johnson told MPs that the decision may fall to “individual publicans” as to whether they can ask punters for a “covid vaccination certificate” or proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

Tory lockdown sceptic Steve Baker warned the move could create a "two-tier Britain", while Labour frontbencher Ed Miliband said it would be wrong to leave the public health measure up to pub landlords.

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Martin Greenhow, managing director of Mojo Bar,

The proposal has sparked criticism from Leeds pub owners over the morality of forcing the public to produce private medical data.

Martin Greenhow, managing director of Mojo Bar, told The Yorkshire Evening Post: “Personally I think it’s immoral, you’re basically being asked to provide private medical documentation and I find that abhorrent.

Mr Greenhow also questioned the practicality of having vaccine passports as many of the people hoping to return to bars after months will be the younger generation.

He added: "The pragmatists will be saying ‘at least we’ll get bars and restaurants opened ‘ but it won’t, not in a practical way. The people who want to frequent these bars won’t be in a position to get a vaccination and therefore produce a certificate, so it just doesn’t work. It's immoral and impractical."

Martin Greenhow at MOJO on Merrion Street in Leeds.

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However, Stephanie Cliffe, owner of The Assembly in Cross Gates believes the vaccination passports would make patrons feel safer in her pub and would allow the economy to start-up again.

She told The YEP: “If everyone does get vaccinated in a timely manner it’s good for us, if they allow people into bars it means they’re going to lift restrictions in terms of social distancing and having to wear masks. There’s that safety element there.

“I understand why they want to do it, they want to open up the economy again and this could speed up that process - people can then go out and live their lives in normality."

Both owners raised concerns over the practicality of using the vaccination certificates, however, as they feel younger staff would also have to have a certificate.

Ms Cliffe explained: “Our staff age range is 25-35 so again they’d have to get vaccinated as well”. And, Mr Greenhow worries that if the vaccine passports do get implemented he will not be able to staff the bar.

“Virtually our entire operational staff are under 35. We are not in a position to provide them with vaccinations, they’re not going to be able to get them through the NHS so how does that work? We cant staff the bars now because people cant certify themselves as being fit to work."

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