Majority Of UK Businesses Say Vaccines Are ‘Golden Ticket’ To Recovery, Not Government Support Packages

New research from myGP has revealed that 92% of public-facing businesses would consider inviting vaccinated customers back into their premises, en masse, as a short-term, but urgent lifeline, with the majority of owners of retail, hospitality, leisure and travel businesses expecting to need to request proof of vaccination status before granting entry to special ‘at capacity’ events.

New research has today revealed that 92 percent of owners of independent public-facing businesses, in the retail, hospitality, leisure and travel sectors, are considering inviting customers who can prove their vaccination status back as soon as possible at capacity events, in an attempt to save their businesses. The research comes as confidence in the Government’s support packages continues to falter.

myGP, the UK’s largest independent GP booking and healthcare management app that connects patients with primary care has been inundated with enquiries from small business owners after announcing its intention to provide the people in England with a simple, clear means of communicating their verified vaccination status, via their smartphone. As the Covid-19 vaccination is actively being rolled out to the UK’s nine high priority groups first, the social, economic and health benefits of getting vaccinated people out of isolation and back to the places they miss most will be undeniable.

Economic Recovery at Capacity

Currently planned for release next month the myGP TICKet will allow businesses whose viability depends upon operating at capacity, such as the retail, leisure, the arts and hospitality sectors the ability to open either full or part-time to vaccinated individuals, without the need to observe strict social distancing rules. In addition, the technology will reduce the administrative burden on GPs, who will likely be busy with requests for verification of vaccination status as people begin to return to everyday life around the country.

Tobias Alpsten, the innovator behind myGP TICKet and Founder and CEO of iPLATO Healthcare and myGP comments on why so many businesses including the NHS, can benefit from using the vaccination status checker as a temporary ‘business survival’ measure:

“There are more than six million businesses on their knees in the UK today, which not only impacts the economy, but also the mental and physical health of their owners and employees. Many of the businesses we have spoken with about introducing ‘temporary access events’ for vaccinated customers are calling it a short-term lifeline – a way to get the tills ringing as soon as possible, as they make a slow return to a ‘new normal’. Considering that 38 percent of people in the UK aged 75-84 and 59 percent of those aged 85+ live alone, getting out, once fully vaccinated, is going to be a vital part of their health and social recovery, which will help to alleviate the strain on the UK’s NHS and social care system”

Since the start of the pandemic, myGP has regularly undertaken patient research, to gauge feelings and intentions regarding their health, access to primary care, and their intentions regarding the Covid-19 vaccine. Upon learning that a vaccine had been approved, myGP asked 2,000 adults if they intended to have the vaccine, of which 31 percent said no. However, of this group, 23 percent said they could be swayed to have the vaccine if it meant they could attend live events and other activities without strict social distancing measures in place.

Andy Lennox, restaurateur and founder of The Wonky Table, which represents 500+ hospitality businesses navigating the Covid-19 pandemic commented:

“It’s well recognised that the surefire way to get out of this cycle of regional tiers and national lockdowns is through a fast and effective rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. Therefore, at The Wonky Table, which represents some of the most vibrant independent businesses along the South Coast, we’re incredibly supportive of innovations such as myGP TICKet, which could help quicken the return to normality for the hospitality sector. We’ll watch and engage with interest as the solution is developed and brought to market next month.”

James Balfour, CEO of 1Rebel, one of the UK’s leading fitness brands, explains why the myGP TICKet will help to bring the country’s fitness industry back:

“The fitness industry has been faced with unique struggles during the pandemic, due to social distancing requirements. Exercise has been a buzz word during the pandemic, but gyms have been one of the casualties of the lockdowns and tier-systems, despite low transmission rates, and the well-known physical and the mental health benefits it brings. Any solution that will help group exercise in particular get back to business safely, will be very welcome by 1Rebel. We can’t wait to get back to helping boost the nation’s health; including having a positive impact on England’s economy.”

Katie Coull, Artistic Director of Charity ‘Artists for Essential Workers’ (AFEW), comments on why myGP TICKet will have such a powerful impact in the arts industry:

“Being unable to operate at capacity has been absolutely crippling for artists and arts venues alike. The ability to fill a venue to capacity, even just part of the time, would make a world of difference to the organisations who provide Britain’s cultural lifeblood. We are fully in support of anything that can open our doors earlier than planned.”

Leicester resident Mildred Stubbs, aged 83, comments on why her and her husband, Joseph, will put their new vaccination status to good use as soon as physically possible:

“We have been isolating since the pandemic began, so we are itching to get back out there when it is safe to do so. We have both had two does of the Covid-19 vaccine, and are feeling great and raring to get back to a normal life. Our physical and mental health has severely suffered; not being able to go out to walk our dog, or to shop makes a big difference, and not seeing our four children has been heart-breaking. We are both very savvy with our technology, even more so since the start of Covid, so we’ve downloaded the app ready to prove our vaccine status.”