Around 1 in 10 of all adults (11%) across Great Britain report having been asked to show proof that they have either been vaccinated against coronavirus (COVID-19), or that they have recently tested negative, to be allowed into a venue or event.

It has been proposed in England and Scotland for people to be required to prove their COVID-19 status – sometimes known as “vaccine passports” – to be able to go to crowded indoor spaces, such as nightclubs, and large outdoor events.

Some large venues such as football stadia and music festivals have already been asking people to prove their COVID-19 status.

Data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) for 25 August to 5 September 2021 show that across Great Britain, sporting events were the places where most people had been asked to prove their coronavirus status.

A higher percentage of people aged between 16 and 29 years and between 30 and 49 years than other age groups reported being asked for proof of vaccination or a negative test. In both groups, 13% of adults said they had been requested to show their COVID-19 certification. Among those aged 70 years and over it was 7%.

This may be because a higher proportion of younger people reported leaving their homes during the survey period.

Of those aged 16 to 29 years, 11% said they left home over the previous seven days to go to a nightclub or concert, compared with 4% of adults overall.

Adults who reported needing proof were asked about access to events and venues in Great Britain, not when travelling or returning from abroad.

More people aged 16 to 49 years reported being asked for proof of COVID-19 status than older age groups

Adults, Great Britain, 25 August to 5 September 2021

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  1. Question: Have you been asked to show proof that you have been vaccinated or had a recent negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test, to be let into a venue or event? Please do not include travel abroad.

Download data for the percentages of adults asked for proof of COVID-19 status by age group (XLSX, 20 KB)

Between men and women, there was no difference, with 11% of adults of each sex reporting having been asked for proof of their coronavirus status.

More younger people reported being asked for proof than older people, but they are also less likely to be fully vaccinated

While a higher percentage of younger people reported having been asked to prove their vaccination status than older age groups, they are also less likely than the oldest age groups to have received both doses of a vaccine. This is because older people were prioritised during the vaccine rollout because of their greater risk of serious illness or death. Those aged 16 to 29 years are also the most “vaccine hesitant” age group.

In England, 82.5% of adults were estimated to have been fully vaccinated by the week ending 8 August 2021, compared with an estimated 79.4% in Wales and 78.8% in Scotland.

By age group, 25.5% of those aged 16 to 24 years in England, 21.9% in Wales and 21.3% in Scotland were estimated to have been fully vaccinated compared with more than 98% of those in the age groups 70 years and older. These estimates are based on a sample survey of reported vaccine status and are likely to be different from the daily official government figures, which provide the recorded actual numbers of vaccinations.

Sporting events and festivals were the most common places people reported being asked for proof

Percentage of adults who had been asked to prove COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test by venue, Great Britain, 25 August to 5 September 2021

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Notes
  1. Question: Where have you been asked to show proof that you have been vaccinated or had a recent negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test?
  2. Base: Adults that had been asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Download data for the percentage of adults asked to prove COVID-19 status by venue (XLSX, 17 KB)

Of adults who had been asked for proof, 22% had been asked for it at a sports venue.

One in five (20%) of those who had required proof had been asked for it at a festival.

Among the 33% who answered “other”, the types of venues they listed when asked to specify included care homes, hospitals and their places of work.

Checks on coronavirus status were carried out during the Euro 2020, while festivals also required people to show proof before they were admitted.

Out of all age groups, 6% of those who had been asked for proof had required it in a nightclub or bar, however, younger people are more likely than older people to be visiting these venues.

A higher percentage of people reported being asked for proof at outdoor concerts than indoor concerts. Of those asked for proof, 11% had been at an outdoor concert compared with 7% at an indoor one.

There was some difference by age groups in the types of venue where people may have been asked for their COVID-19 status

Percentage of adults who had been asked to prove COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative test by age group and venue, Great Britain, 25 August to 5 September 2021

Embed code

Notes
  1. Question: Where have you been asked to show proof that you have been vaccinated or had a recent negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test?
  2. Base: Adults that had been asked to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test.

Download data for the age group and venue breakdown of adults asked to provide proof of their COVID-19 status (XLSX, 18 KB)

Among those aged 16 to 29 years, 38% of those who had been asked for proof had required it for a festival.

For those aged 30 to 49 years, sports events had been where 33% of those who had been asked for proof had required it.

For those aged 50 to 69 years, 48% of those who had been asked for proof needed it somewhere “other” than a sporting event, nightclub or bar, theatre or comedy performance, indoor concert, outdoor concert or festival. This was also the case for 65% of those aged 70 years and over who had been asked for proof.

Men (31%) are more likely to have attended a sporting event where proof was required compared with women (12%). For women, 39% of those who had been asked for proof had required it somewhere “other” than the options listed in the survey while 20% said they needed it for festivals.

Proving a negative test was more likely to make people go to an event than to put them off

We have previously asked adults whether needing to have proof of a recent negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test would make them more or less likely to go to an organised event.

Of those asked between 28 April and 3 May 2021, 41% said it would make them more likely to go and 26% said it would make them less likely to go.

In comparison, just over 7 in 10 (71%) adults said they would be less likely to attend an organised event if they had to spend an extra two hours in the venue for a socially distanced exit.

Other measures such as no social distancing, wearing a face covering during the entire event and not being able to eat or buy food also made adults less likely to want to attend an event.

People can access their vaccination or test record on an NHS COVID Pass in England. People who have had two doses of vaccine in Scotland can also access their certificate.

Similar requirements are not currently being proposed in Wales but the equivalent pass is available for those who need to prove their coronavirus status.

View all data used in this article

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