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Fans at FA Cup Final next month won't need vaccine passports

Has Boris shown Covid passports the red card? Vaccine ‘certificates’ will not be piloted by the crowd at the FA Cup Final at Wembley next month amid furious Tory backlash

  • The football season-ending showpiece is part of Events Research Programme 
  • It is examining ways to safely reopen mass events after the lockdown ends 
  • But fans won’t need Covid passports, only proof of a recent negative Covid test 

Boris Johnson has been accused of scrapping plans to introduce vaccine passports’ to go to the pub after the measure was missing from a list of high-profile pilot events including the FA Cup Final.

The football season-ending showpiece next month, its two preceding semi-finals and the League Cup Final are on the Events Research Programme which will examine ways of reopening mass-attendance venues safely.

But under guidance released by the Department of Digital, Culture Media and Sport today, Covid ‘certificates’ will not be used. 

Instead fans travelling to Wembley for the final on May 15 – which will take place with 21,000 spectators – will have to provide evidence of a recent negative Covid test and take tests afterwards.

The announcement prompted speculation that the Prime Minister has caved in to rebel Tory backbenchers, who had threatened to join Labour to vote down any law governing their introduction, on civil liberties grounds. 

One rebel Tory MP told MailOnline today: ‘I think we’ve managed to take the wheels off this plan.’ 

Fans travelling to Wembley for the final on May 15 – which will take place with 21,000 spectators – will have to provide evidence of a recent negative Covid test and take tests afterwards.

The announcement prompted speculation that the Prime Minister (pictured yesterday)  has caved in to rebel Tory backbenchers

DCMS today published its guidance for the ERP events. As well as the Wembley football matches they include the World Snooker Championship at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre and a series of events in Liverpool, at a cinema, nightclub and conference centre. 

The guidance published today says: ‘There will be no requirement for participants to show proof of vaccine.

‘Participants in the ERP pilots published to date will have to provide a basic Covid certification that they have tested negative for Covid-19.’

It adds: ‘Yes, entry will be subject to a negative test result. In practice this will work in much the same way that international travel has taken place in recent months – entry will be denied to those that cannot provide evidence of a negative test result.’

A Number 10 spokesman today insisted that Covid passports ‘could have an important role to play… and we are continuing to look at how they may operate.’

He declined to comment directly on the pilot schemes, adding: ‘Work is ongoing with groups and other experts in this area as we consider all the evidence to ensure that if or when we do introduce any such schemes we have taken into account all of the things we have spoken about in terms of the moral implications of any scheme.

‘The Prime Minister has set out that they won’t play a part in the opening of stages two and three but it is something we continue to work on and we continue to look at the evidence.’  

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