Music venue

British public support vaccine passports to save their local venues

British public support vaccine passports to save their local venues

Music venue
  • New research from myGP has indicated that 66% of residents in England would welcome temporary vaccine passports to allow local hard-hit venues and businesses to get up-and-running 
  • Of the 34% that said they disagreed, a third of them (32%) would change their mind if their favourite high-street venue was at risk of closure before social distancing measures could be removed 
  • 92% of public-facing businesses would consider inviting vaccinated customers back into their premises as a short-term, but urgent lifeline 

New research has revealed that 66% of public in England would welcome vaccination passports if it meant keeping their local high-street in businessi. The statistics follow a U-turn in announcements from Government that suggest vaccine passports could now be required on the high-street, but it still leaves the future uncertain for tens of 1000s of businesses as the country moves forward into the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’. 

31% of UK businesses who have paused trading or are temporarily closed have no or low confidence in surviving the next three months with 55% having less than 6 months’ cash reserves and as many as 10% of businesses currently not trading listing no cash reserves at all.ii  

myGP – the UK’s largest independent healthcare management app – has been inundated with enquiries from business owners after announcing its intention to provide the people in England with a simple, clear means of communicating their verified vaccination status, via the myGP TICKet feature within their app. 92% of owners of independent public-facing businesses confirmed that they are considering inviting customers who can prove their vaccination status back as soon as possible at capacity events, in an attempt to avoid looming closures.iii 

In the Prime Minister’s current plans – the earliest venues will be able to operate at capacity is the 21st June, which means many small independent music venues will be unable to open, until this date – due to their size and set-up. 

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust commented “Grassroots music venues across the country have enjoyed huge support from artists and audiences during this crisis and it is incredibly encouraging to see broad public support of vaccine verification as we consider a number of options to revive live music. The situation remains dire right across the events and entertainment sector. Economically viable events can’t happen with social distancing, and vaccine verification is one of a number of tools which venues can use to get back to full capacity so we can reopen every venue safely” 

The love for the local high-street and England’s independent venues was further confirmed with 32% of people who were initially against the temporary vaccine passports, stating they would change their mind if it meant saving their favourite local venue from closure.i 

Hillary Cannon, Director of the myGP TICKet Innovation, comments on why vaccination verification technology really is key to the survival of small businesses in particular: “We all know that lockdowns and social distancing has brought arts and events venues, restaurants, and the hospitality sector – all of our most beloved industry sectors – to their knees. We also know that there are still questions around the reliability of rapid (lateral flow) testing, and that PCR testing does not account for the incubation period of this virus. It’s clear that assured, GP-verified proof of vaccination is the only way to ensure that businesses can reopen safely and at capacity. And we now realise that the majority of the public supports the use of such technologies.” 

The myGP TICKet will allow businesses whose viability depends upon operating at capacity – such as the retail, leisure, the arts and hospitality sectors – the ability to open either full or part-time to vaccinated individuals, without the need to observe strict social distancing rules. In addition, the technology will reduce the administrative burden on GPs, removing personal requests for verification of vaccination status as people begin to return to everyday life around the country. 

Dr William Budd, research clinician and advisor to myGP comments: “It’s really encouraging to see this type of innovation, particularly given the positive comments relating to the Oxford vaccine in The Lancet. Speeding up a return to normal with this technology and a vaccine that looks to prevent transmission is a brilliant combination.” 

About the new vaccination status feature that will help to save UK venues 

The new vaccination status feature will display, within the patient profile page of the myGP app, whether or not a patient is sufficiently protected from COVID-19; illustrated via a few personal details and a simple green tick, which will appear 12 days following the final vaccine dose, when a patient is considered protected from the virus. This ‘tick’ will act as a clinically assured means of proving one’s vaccination status, displayed in real-time, generated directly from a patient’s medical record. All data and access is controlled by the patient. 

myGP – home to the myGP TICKet feature – is developed by Hammersmith-based iPLATO Healthcare. Currently available to patients at 97 percent of England’s GP practices, myGP has spent years working alongside the NHS to gain NHS accreditation. As a result, the app already enables over two million patients in England to view their medical records, request repeat prescriptions, request GP appointments, and access other complementary healthcare services. More than 200,000 patients in England have accessed their medical records via the app in just the last two months. 

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