Clapton issued his statement in response to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement on Monday, July 19th, that vaccine passes would be required to enter nightclubs and venues. Clapton’s statement was shared via the Telegram account of film producer and architect Robin Monotti, who has also been skeptical of the Covid-19 vaccine and expressed other doubts about the U.K. government’s response to the pandemic. (Clapton previously shared a message about his “disastrous” health experience after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine on Monotti’s Telegram page.)
“Following the PM’s announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021 I feel honor-bound to make an announcement of my own,” Clapton said. “I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present. Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show.”
The message was accompanied by a link to Clapton’s anti-lockdown song with Van Morrison, “Stand and Deliver.” Representatives for Clapton did not immediately return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
In a statement to Rolling Stone in May, a spokesperson for the MHRA, the UK governmental body overseeing the vaccine, reiterated that “over 56 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in this country.
“Our advice remains that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweigh the risks in the majority of people. It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so.”
Clapton’s next scheduled shows in the United Kingdom won’t be until May 2022, when he has two dates on the books at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He has a handful of North American concerts scheduled for this September.