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 announcements from Government that vaccine passports would not be required on the high-street, leaving the future uncertain for tens of 1000s of businesses as the country moves out of lock-down, but social distancing measures remain.
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
Mark Davys, 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, who will likely be busy with 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.”