Eric Clapton “will not perform on any stage” or venue that requires attendees to verify they are vaccinated against COVID-19, the famed British musician said in a statement his friend shared this week.
Robin Monotti Graziadei, a vaccine skeptic close to Mr. Clapton, shared the statement Tuesday after U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that some venues will soon require proof of vaccination.
“I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present,” Mr. Clapton, 76, said in the statement his friend shared on the social media service Telegram.
“Unless there is provision made for all people to attend, I reserve the right to cancel the show,” Mr. Clapton said in the statement Mr. Graziadei shared.
A representative for Mr. Clapton did not immediately answer an inquiry about the statement’s authenticity. Mr. Clapton called Mr. Graziadei his friend in a recent video where they both discussed COVID-19.
Mr. Johnson said Monday that nightclubs and other large event spaces in the U.K. will soon require patrons to verify they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the disease the novel coronavirus causes.
“Proof of a negative test will no longer be sufficient,” Mr. Johnson said in a speech.
Mr. Clapton, the only musician inducted thrice into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, previously criticized restrictions imposed earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic that had prevented artists from touring.
“It is deeply upsetting to see how few gigs are going ahead because of the lockdown restrictions,” Mr. Clapton said in December when he released a song with fellow artist Van Morrison about the measures.
More recently, Mr. Clapton complained in May about what he called “disastrous” side-effects he experienced after being vaccinated against COVID-19 and criticized other celebrities for promoting the shots.
Some people vaccinated against COVID-19 do experience side effects, but public health officials assert the shots are safe and encourage most everybody to be vaccinated to help end the coronavirus pandemic.
Fifty-seven percent of people in the U.S. ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.