ANDOVER’s MP has said that the decision to introduce mandatory ‘Covid passports’ for entry into nightclubs and other indoor venues in England is the “modest and proportionate” response to the “threat” of increasing Covid cases.

The decision was taken in parliament on Tuesday (December 14), with 369 votes supporting the measure, and 126 against.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered the largest rebellion of his premiership over the topic, with nearly 100 Conservative MPs defying the whip to vote against the introduction of mandatory Covid passes to access nightclubs and large venues.

The measures will still go ahead thanks to support from Labour.

Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire, supported the plans, and told the Advertiser: “Last night’s vote was a difficult one for all colleagues; we had to strike a fine balance between slowing the spread of Omicron and protecting our freedoms and livelihoods.

“Of course I want everybody to get the vaccine and booster but, importantly, nobody will be forced to get a jab to go to a nightclub or stadium. Instead they will either need proof of vaccines or a negative covid test.”

He continued: “This only applies to high risk venues such as nightclubs, indoor unseated events with more than 500 people, outdoor unseated events with more than 4,000 people, or very large events with more than 10,000 people. That means the rules won’t apply to most non-league football clubs, small music venues or small theatres.

“I believe this is a modest and proportionate response to the possible threat facing us. Above all it keeps people safe in the face of uncertainty about Omicron, and that’s why I backed it.”

It comes after Boris Johnson held an emergency national briefing at 8pm on Sunday, December 12, in which he announced the “acceleration” of the booster roll-out, meaning anyone over 18 can now book a third dose, or attend a walk-in centre.