Brit Awards, U.K. Venues Consider Vaccine Passports, but Parliament Opposes Idea

The organizers of the Brit Awards are in discussions with the U.K. government to allow live audiences at the May 11 event at London’s O2 Arena.

Meanwhile, U.K. newspaper The Telegraph has reported that COVID passports with proof of vaccination will be tested at a dozen events over April and May, such as the FA Cup soccer semi-finals and finals and the World Snooker Championship. The plan will involve testing at venues or producing a COVID passport.

“We are exploring options with the government about whether some audience attendance at this year’s Brit Awards is possible,” a Brit Awards spokesperson told Variety. “Putting on an event as complex as The Brits during the pandemic means that many additional safeguards are needed. We hope this year’s show can be part of the pilot scheme, but some practical considerations still have to be addressed with the government and we are not yet in a position to make a final decision.”

Elsewhere, the Curzon cinema chain is exploring the idea of separate screenings — for those who have had the COVID-19 vaccine and those who haven’t, according to U.K. newspaper The Guardian. “Personally, I am not a supporter,” Curzon CEO Philip Knatchbull told The Guardian. “It is extremely difficult to monitor and more importantly it would prejudice against the minority of people who don’t get a vaccine.”

“We may get around that by having some screenings where people may need proof of vaccination and some that don’t,” Knatchbull added. “We are trying to think how to make our customers comfortable and how our brand should be best reflected by offering flexibility.”

The Curzon group is in talks with the U.K. Cinema Association, the representative body for U.K. cinemas, and the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, on the matter, The Guardian says.

U.K. cinemas and theaters are due to reopen for indoor shows beginning May 17.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to reveal details about the COVID passport or similar plans on Monday. However, a cross-party group of 70 members of parliament has opposed the move. “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of COVID status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs,” the lawmakers said in a statement.

The decision is under review at the moment and a U.K. government spokesperson said that they are “considering a range of issues, including the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects and what limits, if any, should be placed on organizations using certification.”

The Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam is allowing limited audiences into the rehearsals, semi-finals and finals in May, after COVID testing.

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