UK vaccine passports meet opposition, MPs call it ‘divisive’ A man wearing a protective mask walks into departures at terminal 5 of Heathrow Airport in London. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)
UK GOVERNMENT is reviewing the idea of introducing vaccine passports, which would enable people to access crowded spaces such as pubs or sports events.
The idea is to help open the economy as the country has started to ease Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, with prime minister Boris Johnson saying that a proof is likely to be needed for international travel.
According to a report in the Daily Telegraph, trials of Covid passports would begin within weeks during at major sports events and possibly a music awards ceremony in the next two months to access the result.
On Friday (2) Johnson said that a combination of immunity factors – if people have had the disease, a vaccination or had a Covid-19 test – would give businesses confidence.
“So those three things working together will, I think, be useful for us as we as we go forward,” Johnson said.
Last month, Johnson had suggested that some pubs might require customers to produce vaccine certificates.
However, there has been mounting concern from some in his own Conservative Party, as well the opposition, with more than 70 British lawmakers from across the political spectrum having signed a statement resisting the introduction of vaccine passports.
“We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs,” said the statement.
Under the government’s planned “roadmap” out of the pandemic, pubs will be allowed to serve people outdoors later this month, with a further easing of restrictions in mid-May before all measures are lifted near the end of June.
No decision has yet been made and Johnson has instructed senior minister Michael Gove to review the possible role of certificates, saying there are deep and complex ethical issues to explore. Gove is due to report back shortly.
More than 31 million Britons have already received their first dose in the fastest vaccination programme in Europe.