Andrew Lloyd Webber leads calls for Covid passport scheme

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Stoppard and Ralph Fiennes lead calls from the arts world for government to bring in a Covid passport scheme so theatres, concert halls and festivals can reopen

  • Leading composers, actors and playwrights want Covid passports introduced
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber believes a passport scheme will allow live performance
  • The group have written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer
  • Plans for domestic Covid-19 passports are being considered by the governement

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Stoppard, Ralph Fiennes and other leading figures from the arts world will today urge politicians to introduce a Covid passport scheme to enable theatres, concert halls and music festivals to reopen.

In a letter to Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer and other political leaders, they back the idea of a Covid certification scheme to accelerate the reopening of live performance venues.

The letter is signed by figures from all sections of the arts, including Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli, conductor Sir Simon Rattle, theatre director Sir Nicholas Hytner and music promoter Melvin Benn, who produces the Latitude, Reading and Leeds music festivals.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tom Stoppard, Ralph Fiennes and other leading figures from the arts world will today urge politicians to introduce a Covid passport scheme to enable theatres, concert halls and music festivals to reopen

In a letter to Boris Johnson, Sir Keir Starmer and other political leaders, they back the idea of a Covid certification scheme to accelerate the reopening of live performance venues

Bond film producer Barbara Broccoli, pictured, is also among those who signed the letter

Covid passports have proved controversial, with more than 70 MPs signing a pledge to vote against them. Some Tory MPs particularly oppose the idea of ‘papers for the pub’.

But in today’s letter, senior figures from the arts world urge politicians to consider a scheme to help ensure ‘a return to normality across our sectors’, saying that a continuation of restrictions ‘threatens additional financial pressures on the sector’.

They write: ‘We strongly support the Government’s ambition to return to full capacity audiences without restrictions as soon as possible, and we recognise that this can be only be achieved through gathering evidence that it is safe to remove or lessen restrictions, including looking at how Covid status certification could aid the reduction of social distancing.’

The group states that ministers must ensure that any scheme does not rely solely on proof of vaccination and is only ‘temporary’.

Plans for domestic use of Covid certificates are yet to be finalised by the Government. 

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