Government ministers believe such a plan could have an “important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure”. Boris Johnson has suggested that vaccine certificates should play a role in taking the UK out of pandemic lockdown. However, Mr Johnson said he rejects the term “vaccine passports”, but is set to implement a plan called “COVID-status certification”.
This will allow those with certificates to return to sporting fixtures, theatres and other public events.
Today, UK Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove said vaccine passports could “potentially play a role in settings such as theatres, nightclubs, and mass events such as festivals or sports events to help manage risks where large numbers of people are brought together in close proximity”.
According to a recent Government review, those who have tested positive for coronavirus within the past 180 days would gain access to venues and events requiring Covid certification.
The Government document said: “The Government expects that Covid-status certification could be demonstrated by: an up-to-date vaccine status, a negative lateral flow or PCR test taken at a test site on the same day or the day before their admission to a venue, or by proof of natural immunity, such as through a previous positive PCR for a time limit of 180 days from the date of the positive test and following completion of the self-isolation period.”
The document added that while 31 million people in the UK had received at a single dose of the vaccine in the, mass vaccination process would “not provide universal protection”.
The Government paper added: “As a result, some measures may be required for a period after all adults have been offered a vaccine, in order to prevent a surge in hospitalisations which could put unsustainable pressure on the NHS.
“Even without Government intervention, Covid-status certification is likely to become a feature of our lives until the threat from the pandemic recedes.
“In the UK, businesses and other organisations are able to ask customers for proof of Covid status in order to access their premises, as long as they are compliant with equalities legislation.
“The Government believes that introducing a ban on this would in most cases be an unjustified intrusion on how businesses choose to make their premises safe – although, as set out below, there may be exceptions where the Government needs to intervene to ensure equitable access to essential services.
“It is therefore right that the Government provides a means of easily demonstrating Covid-status, in order to ensure UK citizens and residents are not denied opportunities to travel or attend certain venues or events.”