Vaccine passports for large venues and mass gatherings are needed to avoid another national lockdown, Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister has said.

Zahawi confirmed that certificates proving an individual’s jab status will be required to enter large venues in addition to nightclubs by the end of the month.

Venues requiring double vaccination as a “condition of entry” are expected to include football matches, concerts and business conferences.

UKHospitality described the policy as “unworkable” and “devastating” for the nightclub sector.

Zahawi said large numbers of people mixing in close proximity “could end up causing a real spike in infections”, and that mandatory passes were the “best way” to avoid having to reimpose coronavirus restrictions in the winter.

In Scotland, vaccine passports are being made compulsory for unseated live events with a capacity of more than 500 people indoors or 4,000 outdoors. All events with an audience of more than 10,000 would also be covered, regardless of whether it is unseated or seated.

Commenting on the reports, Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality said: “A scheme introducing mandatory Covid passports for certain venues and events will be unworkable, cause conflict between staff and customers and will force business to deal with complex equality rules. Operators may even be forced into a position where they have to let unvaccinated staff go, at a time when there are record levels of staff shortages across the industry.

“The hospitality sector has invested heavily to ensure customers are safe and we have proved venues are Covid secure. Introducing a scheme such as this will be a hammer blow to businesses such as nightclubs that were closed by the government for nearly 18 months, and have only recently been able to trade viably and make progress toward rebuilding and paying off accrued debts.

“Over the past year our sector has been devastated and businesses have only known forced closure or the most severe restrictions. This policy will be devastating for businesses that remain fragile and will certainly derail recovery and cost thousands of jobs.”