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Covid-status certificates could be required in order to gain entry to entertainment venues, pubs and nightclubs from this autumn onwards, according to Government sources quoted in The Times.

“In autumn vaccine passports could become an important tool that will allow us to keep things open,” said a Downing Street source.

According to the report, Government decided not to enforce the use Covid-status certificates as part of the easing of restrictions on 19 July because it would discriminate against younger people who had not had their second jab. The Government has said that by mid-September all over-18s in England will have been given the opportunity to receive two Covid-19 vaccination doses.

Young unvaccinated people are understood to be behind a sharp recent rise in Covid-19 cases. The Office for National Statistics said there had been a 58% rise in cases over the past seven days, with cases ten times higher among those aged 16-24 than the over-70s.

Some 58% of those aged 18-24 have had a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The Times quoted another Government source as having said, “If we can show real benefits of getting vaccinated in terms of everyday life then it could be quite a useful tool.”

The prime minister will host a press conference this afternoon, 12th July, to confirm whether England can move to Step 4 of the conditional reopening roadmap.

Downing Street has issued a statement suggesting that the PM will urge caution ahead of the move: “We are tantalisingly close to the final milestone in our roadmap out of lockdown, but the plan to restore our freedoms must come with a warning.

“Cases will rise as we unlock, so as we confirm our plans today, our message will be clear. Caution is absolutely vital, and we must all take responsibility so we don’t undo our progress.”

As of 10 July, 80.3m vaccine doses had been administered in the UK, with 45.7m adults having received a first dose (86.9%) and 34.5m adults both doses (65.6%).