Apr 8, 2021
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Retailers say no thanks to Covid status certificates

Apr 8, 2021

UK retailers seem to be unenthusiastic about the British government’s idea of Covid status certificates to allow people to enter certain locations. 

The idea of Covid status certificates showing that people are vaccinated has been rejected by UK retailers - Photo: Public domain/Pexels

The opposition to the idea follows similar rejection by those operating in the hospitality sector as well as a number of other businesses and MPs.

Non-essential retailers in England and Wales will be reopening on Monday but the British retail Consortium and New West End Company (NWEC) have issued warnings that forcing retailers to check customers’ Covid status at the door is simply unworkable.

BRC Chief Executive Helen Dickinson, said that such certification may be important for some activities like international travel but members have made it clear that it's not "appropriate or useful" in a retail setting.

The impulse nature of consumers going into shops means that extra Covid status checks could act as a major suppressor of shopping demand.

She also questioned why such certification would be needed given the stringent hygiene measures in place to protect shoppers and store staff.

And NWEC chief Jace Tyrrell joined Dickinson, in saying that while Covid status certificate may work for large capacity venues hosting big crowds, the body doesn't think they’re practical for shops.

He also pointed out how important it is to get London's economy moving again and that this proposal would slow that down.

British Independent Retailers Association CEO Andrew Goodacre also added that the need to check certification would increase the burden on small, independent retailers who may be unable to afford door security staff.

But it's questionable whether the plan to introduce the certification would even get through Parliament with the Labour Party and SNP looking likely to oppose it and over 40 Conservative MPs also uneasy about the idea.

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