UK To Test COVID-19 Certificate Implementation At Sports Events
The United Kingdom is set to trial COVID-19 certificates at sporting events in a bid to slowly bring the live events industry back to life. These certificates confirm that a person has either been vaccinated, developed antibodies from infection within the last six months, or got a very recent negative COVID test result.
Downing Street announced it would start testing the system in mid-April at trial nightclub, conference, and sports events. The FA Cup semi-final and final matches will also be part of the trial. The National Health Service is in charge of creating both digital and non-digital certificates for this system. On the other hand, businesses, pubs, and restaurants – set to reopen on May 17 – will not be required to ask customers for certificates.
The culture minister Oliver Dowden believes this move to be crucial for saving the live-events industry: “(We’re) working with many, many people to see how we can get people back safely in large numbers, because if we don’t manage to do it this summer… I’m really worried about the future of those industries.”
However, MPs from both the Conservative and Labour parties opposed the move, describing it as discriminatory. Labour leader Keir Starmer stated that the introduction of COVID certificates goes against British instincts; other representatives pointed out that it could result in people losing jobs and services. Some venues listed as a part of the certificate program rejected the idea, stating they experienced significant backlash after the system was announced.
On the other hand, football clubs were happy with the planned system, as it means they could have fans attend matches in the future. Sports organisations suffered significant revenue losses as ticket sales were cut significantly due to restrictions. Besides financing issues, many people feel that the lack of fan support has stolen the soul from sports events, especially in such a football-focused country like the UK.