Covid vaccine passports prove someone has been jabbed or has had a negative test (Image: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto/REX/Shutterstock)

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Covid vaccine passports could still be made mandatory as Downing Street refused to rule out the controversial certificates.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on Monday that the Government would "encourage" businesses, such as nightclubs and bars, to begin asking customers for proof they have a vaccine or negative test.

But it has now emerged the Government is still looking at forcing Covid vaccine passports at some venues.

When asked about the issue, the Prime Minister's spokesman said on Tuesday: “There are no plans to mandate that currently, clearly as a responsible government we will want to keep the situation under review dependent on the course of the pandemic.”

Treasury Minister Steve Barclay said earlier today that there would be "no legal requirement" for venues to back the certificates, but "some businesses will want to look at measures".

He told LBC Radio: "It will vary in terms of some very large events may want to ensure and some businesses want to be in a position to give greater comfort to those using their premises.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid in the Commons
(Image: PA)

"So we’ll put some further guidance out on this, but in terms of the legal position, it’s not a legal requirement to have this."

New Government guidance published ahead of the relaxation of Covid rules later this summer makes clear that the Covid passes may still be needed for venues like theatres, pubs and bars if the virus runs out of control.

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It says: "If sufficient measures are not taken to limit infection, the Government will consider mandating the NHS COVID Pass in certain venues at a later date."

Some businesses have already rejected the idea, however.

Peter Marks, boss of REKOM UK which owns 42 nightclubs including chains Pryzm, Bar&Beyond, Eden and Fiction, said his firm will not be using the vaccine passports.

Meanwhile, Government modelling revealed by Politico shows £3.5billion could be wiped off the hospitality industry with vaccine passports.