Bar owner claims jab passports will create 'illicit' underground events

Cans 'N' Cocktails opens on Prince of Wales Road when Andre Smith will be mixing the cocktails

Andre Smith fears that the introduction of vaccine passports will drive customers away from bars and nightclubs. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

A bar owner who told visitors to turn off their Covid app fears vaccine passports will lead to the creation of underground venues.

Andre Smith previously put up posters at his bar Cans 'N' Cocktails telling customers to turn off their NHS track and trace app to tackle the pingdemic.

Now the Prince of Wales Road bar owner has concerns that the government's plans to make venues approve proof of vaccination from the end of September will drive business away.

Mr Smith, 32, said: "I think the introduction of passports will deter people from going out.

"There are plenty of people who say they don’t want the vaccine, and that will stop them coming out because they won’t be able to get in anywhere.

Cans 'N' Cocktails opens on Prince of Wales Road when Andre Smith will be mixing the cocktails Byli

Cans 'N' Cocktails opened on Prince of Wales Road on July 2. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"It could lead to the creation of underground venues where things are done illicitly and no checks are done."

Under the new scheme, members of the public will be required to show proof of their vaccine status to gain entry to domestic venues and events.

This means that anyone who has not received their Covid jab will not be allowed entry.

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The club owner added: "I don't think vaccine passports are necessary at all. It's is just adding another headache to the process.

"If every person coming in is going to need to be checked for a vaccine passport, that’s almost a whole job for another member of staff as well as the person checking their normal IDs.

"Vaccine passports do not increase revenue to hire another member of staff."

Families and businesses on Prince of Wales have spoken of closing time chaos.

Venues on Prince of Wales Road will have to ask customers for proof of their vaccination status to gain entry. - Credit: Casey Cooper-Fiske

Mr Smith made it clear that were vaccine passports optional, he wouldn't ask guests to show them.

He added: "We aren't here to limit what you can do because you have or have not had the vaccine."

Downing Street confirmed on August 31 that they will introduce the vaccine passport requirements, despite receiving criticism from politicians and leaders in the night time hospitality industry.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We set out broadly our intention to require our vaccination for nightclubs and some other settings and we'll be coming forward in the coming weeks with details for that."