Labour opposes Boris Johnson’s plans for Covid vaccine passports

The government may not introduce vaccine passports if more young people have jabs, Boris Johnson has suggested. Read more: Labour opposes Boris Johnson’s plans for Covid vaccine passports

Labour opposes Boris Johnson’s plans for Covid vaccine passports

The government may not introduce vaccine passports if more young people have jabs, Boris Johnson has suggested.

As Conservative MPs geared up to ally with Labour to defeat plans for passports, the prime minister indicated that the plan could be ditched anyway.

Johnson announced this week that from the end of September people would have to show they had been fully vaccinated against coronavirus as a condition of entry to nightclubs and other crowded indoor settings.

The proposals caused uproar among some Conservative MPs, who believe that the measure is tantamount to making vaccinations compulsory.

At a meeting of the 1922 Committee of Conservative MPs yesterday, Johnson is understood to have said the policy was designed to “show the young it is in their interests to get vaccinated”.

A senior government source also played down the idea that the plans would ever come to a vote, suggesting that the announcement of mandatory certification was primarily a gambit designed to increase vaccine uptake among younger people. “The number of people coming forward has surged in the past two days,” they said.

Opponents of passports were joined by Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, who said that requiring people to show they had a recent negative test result would be a more effective measure.

“We need to see the detail of what the government puts forward regarding vaccine passports,” a Labour spokesman said. “We oppose the use of Covid vaccination status for everyday access to venues and services. It’s costly, open to fraud and is impractical. Being double jabbed doesn’t prove you aren’t carrying the virus.”

Jess Phillips, the shadow minister for domestic violence, told Times Radio: “I just don’t think that businesses, like your local nightclub or local pub, would be able to police it, and I don’t think it’s fair on them.”

Despite Johnson’s huge Commons majority, there may be enough Conservative rebels to rule out passports with Labour also opposed.

Mark Harper, chairman of the Covid recovery group of MPs, said: “If you can’t do normal things without being vaccinated then that’s compulsory vaccination by the back door.”

Tory WhatsApp groups were inundated with complaints about vaccine passports, many coming from members of the 2019 intake. One MP elected in Johnson’s landslide said: “Vaccine passports are not Conservative, create a two-tier system and just signal that further restrictions will come. It’s a total cop-out.”

UKHospitality, the trade body, said that Covid certificates would be a “costly burden that run the risk of creating flashpoints between staff and customers, as well as raising potential issues with equalities legislation and the handling of customer data.”

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Labour opposes Boris Johnson’s plans for Covid vaccine passports

Source : Business Matters More   

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BrewDog hit by £13m loss as bars close due to Covid despite craft beer boom

BrewDog swung into the red last year as booming sales of its craft beers online during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns failed to offset the impact of bar closures. Read more: BrewDog hit by £13m loss as bars close due to Covid despite craft beer boom

BrewDog hit by £13m loss as bars close due to Covid despite craft beer boom

BrewDog swung into the red last year as booming sales of its craft beers online during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns failed to offset the impact of bar closures.

The Aberdeenshire-based company sank to a £13.1m pre-tax loss in 2020.

This was despite reporting revenues of £238m for the year, 10% higher than in 2019.

BrewDog’s co-founder James Watt called the revenue increase during the year “the most significant achievement in our short history” for the firm, founded in 2007, and backed by 130,000 small shareholders, with its beer now stocked in bars and supermarkets.

After the pandemic closed hospitality venues around much of the globe, BrewDog switched to selling its beers through its online shop. Thirsty customers pushed its e-commerce revenues up by 900% compared with 2019, as it shipped 750,000 orders in 12 months.

BrewDog called its online shop “one of the most important divisions of our entire global operation” during 2020, and has further rolled out its e-commerce platform to Europe, the US and Australia.

Before the pandemic took hold, the brewer had expected to make 40% of its revenue from more than 100 bars, located around the world, from Sheffield to Shanghai and Berlin to Brisbane.

BrewDog, which employs 1,600 people globally, said the pandemic had not dented its plans to continue opening more venues. It is working on 30 new locations – including bars and hotels – in cities such as Manchester, Mumbai and Milan.

The firm, which switched to making hand sanitiser at its Aberdeenshire distillery in the early weeks of the pandemic, said it had produced 12,000 bottles for the NHS.

Watt called 2020 “without a doubt the toughest year in our 13-year history”. He said the company’s team “galvanised in the fire and adversity of the last nine months, is also stronger than it has ever been”.

That comes only weeks after BrewDog apologised to former employees who accused Watt and the company in an open letter of fostering a “culture of fear” in which workers were bullied and “treated like objects”.

In the open letter, circulated on Twitter, 61 former workers alleged that the Scottish brewer’s dizzyingly rapid growth had involved cutting corners on health and safety, and creating a “toxic” culture that left staff suffering from mental illness.

Watt released an update earlier this month on the company’s response to the claims by the group calling themselves Punks with Purpose. He said the firm has launched an independent review of the culture within BrewDog, has sent out an anonymous staff survey and has committed to creating an employee representative group.

BrewDog said a structural review showed the business was “under-resourced in certain areas” after the growth in beer volumes and is hiring about 100 new staff.

Read more:
BrewDog hit by £13m loss as bars close due to Covid despite craft beer boom

Source : Business Matters More   

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