Boris Johnson hints Brits could need negative Covid test to go clubbing

The Prime Minister has predicted Brits could be forced to get rapid Covid tests before going clubbing or to the theatre.

Boris Johnson hinted at testing as he discussed a new approach to allow nightclubs to finally reopen after a year of lockdown.

The leader also announced on Monday that the UK is set to have offered every single resident over the age of 50 a Covid vaccine by the end of April.

However, some industries remain concerned over their likelihood of reopening, with the possibility of private businesses asking their staff and punters to have a vaccine or be denied entry.

Although it was rumoured "vaccine passports" may be necessary in day to day life, on Monday, Mr Johnson downplayed the prospect of such "vaccine passports" in the UK – except for allowing international travel.

Instead he suggested some venues would take a twin approach of relying on mass vaccination and getting people tested anyway, reports The Telegraph.

Rapid 'lateral flow' tests are now widely used by firms and in the NHS despite concerns that they miss many positive cases.

He said: "For the purposes of this country and doing things within the domestic UK economy, we’ll look at everything.

"But what we’re thinking of at the moment is more of a route that relies on mass vaccination, and as you know we intend to vaccinate all the adults in the country by the autumn, plus lateral flow testing

“Rapid testing, for those bits that have been the toughest nuts to crack, as it were, such as nightclubs or theatres. Those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year.

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“I think that will be the route that we go down and that businesses will go down.

“And you’re already seeing lots of businesses using the potential of rapid on-the-day testing as well.

“I think that in combination with vaccination will probably be the route forward.

“Though I want to stress to everybody, it is still early days, there’s lots of discussions still to be had.”

The Prime Minister had been asked how companies would be prevented from imposing their own version of vaccine passports even if they aren't used by the government.

The Financial Times also raised concerns about vaccine "hesitancy" among some ethnic minority groups and social care workers – only two-thirds of whom have had the jab.

NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: "There is a real concern about hesitancy on the part of some Black and South Asian communities to accept the vaccine offer."

He added: "There is a huge effort involving community leaders, faith leaders, the way in which the NHS itself is administering the vaccine programme, to overcome that."

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