COVID vaccine will not be mandatory for university students in England, Department for Education (DfE) said on Saturday (31), smashing rumors which stated that Covid vaccine passport may soon be made compulsory for students in England to attend lectures or stay in halls of residence.
As per a statement released by DfE, students will be encouraged to take-up Covid jabs but there is no plan for introducing mandatory Covid vaccine passport.
“Vaccinations are important in helping to keep higher education settings safe for when students return in the autumn term and we strongly encourage all students to take up the offer of both vaccine doses,” DfE said in a statement.
“The government currently has no plans to require the use of the NHS Covid pass for access to learning, however, universities and FE [further education] colleges are encouraged to promote the offer of the vaccine and should continue to conduct risk assessments for their particular circumstances,” the statement said.
Currently all over-18s in the UK have been offered the first dose of a vaccine, and those who are within three months of turning 18 can also get a jab.
The idea of making vaccines compulsory for university students – either to attend lectures or to live in halls of residence – was not ruled out by either education minister or Downing Street when asked about it earlier this week though the foreign secretary had previously said students will get “advance warning” if they needed to be double jabbed.
“We will certainly make sure university students have advance warning, of course we’re going to be mindful of this,” Dominic Raab told BBC Radio 4.
The decision was made after the government was last week delivered a stark briefing from university lawyers, outlining a series of legal obstacles to the plan that might leave them open to a slew of cases, said reports.
Meanwhile, the government is planning to make Covid vaccine passport mandatory for entry into nightclubs and other crowded events and venues in England by September, when all the adults in the UK will have been offered both doses of Covid-19 vaccination.
However, companies are warning that they might face legal action should they implement “no jab, no job” policies.