Owner of Peterborough United.Darragh MacAnthony
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Plans to roll out Covid passports within sport were branded a “disgrace” on Wednesday by the owner of Peterborough United.
Darragh MacAnthony accused Covid certification – proof of full vaccination or evidence of a negative coronavirus test – of “punishing” the young after the Daily Telegraph revealed it would be brought in to football and other sports when they return to full capacity from July 19.
Peterborough, who were promoted to the Championship last season, said the club had made no decision on whether they would require those coming to games at their ground to have a Covid pass, which Boris Johnson on Monday described as a “social responsibility” but refused to make mandatory.
Asked on Twitter for his views on “vaccine passports” being necessary to enter sports stadiums, MacAnthony replied: “Think it’s a disgrace if it became reality.”
He told those “worried about having serious issues with Covid” to “go get vaccinated” or “stay away from crowded places”, saying it was “time now to stop asking everybody else to change their way of life for you”.
He added: “We all know the data, science, risks, age groups and so on. Multiple vaccines now available for those most at risk. Time for normality to resume. Covid like other respiratory viruses is here to stay & [we] have to learn to live with it in our society.”
Describing Covid passports as an unfair burden on the young, he said: “These young people have sacrificed so much through [the] pandemic for ‘the vulnerable’ and now we punish them with this?”
Challenged by one user on what that would mean for those who did not want to be vaccinated, he replied: “I am vaccinated. Studied the data/risks for me if I now get Covid & am fine being around unvaccinated people. Thats [sic] my choice/how I personally decide to live my life. I personally don’t believe children should be vaccinated/covid tested/masked & I dont [sic] believe in vaccine passports.”
As revealed by the Telegraph, the Government will this week issue guidance to sports on Covid passports and mask wearing from July 19. Sport had called for Covid certification if it meant being allowed to return to full capacity and has long been planning to adopt it if required.
A Whitehall source told the Telegraph: “We are going to strongly encourage sports to use it.” The source said that Covid certification could avoid a venue being ordered to reduce its capacity if new nationwide coronavirus restrictions were imposed in the autumn or winter.
“I think sports will be fairly strongly incentivised to do it.”
On masks, the source added: “Through guidance, we will be encouraging the use of masks. Certainly, an event organiser can put it as a condition of entry.”