he Autumn and Winter Plan 2021, published on 14 September, sets out the government’s aims to sustain the progress made and prepare the country for future challenges, while ensuring the National Health Service (NHS) does not come under unsustainable pressure. If the data suggests the NHS is likely to come under unsustainable pressure, the government has prepared a Plan B for England.
The government set out its intention that vaccine certification could form part of a Plan B, however, final decisions on the policy have not been made. Under Plan B, in certain settings:
The government invites responses to the detail on the proposed certification regime which could be introduced as part of Plan B. The government is particularly interested in views from businesses, event organisers and venue operators, including from those that have experience of using certification on a voluntary basis over the summer, and on the proposals for the workforce.
The government invites submissions of evidence, and is also engaging with stakeholder representative groups. This opportunity for engagement will enable the government to take into account relevant comments and views, making any warranted revisions.
Responses are requested by 11 October, although the government says stakeholders should submit views as quickly as possible in case there is need to introduce certification, as part of Plan B, at short notice. If Plan B is implemented, it could be at short notice in response to concerning data. The government would seek to give businesses at least one week’s notice before mandatory vaccine certification came into force.
The government says it intends to take a proportionate approach, balancing the impact on public health with the economic and social impacts by focussing on settings where crowds mix and come into close contact. Mandating vaccine-only certification could allow settings that have experienced long periods of closure to remain open and is preferable to closing venues entirely or reimposing capacity caps or social distancing.
Under Plan B, the government expects that mandatory vaccine-only certification for visitors to venues and events, and vaccine-or-test certification for the workforce would be introduced for the following venues and events:
There are some settings that will be exempt from requirements to use the NHS COVID Pass, such as:
Responses to the call for evidence are required by 11 October, although the government says stakeholders should submit views as quickly as possible in case there is need to introduce certification, as part of Plan B, at short notice. If Plan B is implemented, it could be at short notice in response to concerning data. The government would seek to give businesses at least one week’s notice before mandatory vaccine certification came into force.
The IoL will respond to the call for evidence and this survey seeks views from IoL members to inform our response. The consultation will close on 11 October 2021, and this survey will run until 10 October to enable a comprehensive review of member views when compiling the IoL response.
Please direct any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org (For IoL Members ONLY)