Government report finds event passports would have minimal benefit but significant cost


October 26, 2021

The Cabinet Office’s Covid-19 task force has reportedly published analysis that suggests the implementation of vaccine passports at mass events would reduce overall community transmission by between just 1% and 5%.

The report found that the introduction of the scheme at mass events, for the proposed five-month “Plan B” period until March 2022, would have such a minimal impact because only 2%-13% of overall community transmission takes place in venues covered by the certification scheme, meaning there would only be a “moderate impact from reduced community transmission.”

The report found that the introduction of vaccine passports would have a “high impact” on the economy and would have wider impacts such as worsening the supply chain crisis.

The internal Treasury impact assessment document, seen by Politco, suggests that moving to Plan B could cause up to £18bn of damage to the UK economy – more than £800m per week.

The document concludes that the introduction of passports is “likely to have a positive impact in reducing transmission, although it is not possible to say accurately by how much.”

Commenting on the report’s findings, Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE (Live music Industry Venues & Entertainment) an umbrella federation of 13 live music industry associations, said the report confirmed implementing mandatory vaccine passports would be a mistake.

Said Parmley, “These passports would cost the live music industry billions of pounds while aspects of the roll out would be impractical and potentially dangerous.

“Our industry has been unjustifiably held to a higher standard than any other throughout the pandemic. Now the Government’s own impact assessment makes it clear that far from reducing transmission rates, insisting on mandatory vaccine passports in venues is likely to do the exact opposite.

“Across the country, music venues and events already have tried, tested and workable systems in place to ensure that live events continue to be safe. As one of the hardest hit industries throughout the pandemic the government should be focused on supporting us to rebuild, not forcing these unworkable conditions upon us.”

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