Created on: 25th February 2021

Barmy Boris has said that there are "deep and complex issues" with using vaccine passports or certificates to prove someone's Covid "status.” Announcing a review of the proposal, he said using certificates to allow visits to venues such as pubs and theatres was a 'novelty for our country". Even so, I believe the VACCINES ARE THE GOVERNMENTS true exit strategy from the current round of lockdowns, and always have been. Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will lead the review.


Vaccine passports have been discussed by countries, including Greece, and operators such as Saga Cruises, as a way to safely reopen international leisure travel. But ministers have frequently appeared to dismiss introducing a similar scheme domestically within the UK for hospitality or leisure activities. However, Mr Johnson said he was "very optimistic" most Covid restrictions in England can be lifted on 21 June and that Gove will lead the review of vaccine passports. It is understood the review will not just consider vaccination history alone, with the possibility of negative Covid tests being recorded to gain access to some events or services, if required by the organisers. One option could see the NHS app used to record both, with an individual then able to show their status on the app if required.T he government previously said it would consider how to facilitate Covid certificates for people who needed to travel to other countries which demanded them. The review's findings are hoped to be available before the final stage of England's lockdown easing on 21 June, the earliest date by which ministers hope most Covid measures can end. Mr Johnson said his roadmap for easing lockdown measures, laid out on Monday, was "a cautious but irreversible approach". Due to the vaccine programme, the country could "look at that 21 June date with some optimism".


Thus far, more than 17.9 million people across the UK have now received at least one vaccine dose, according to latest government figures.

BBC political correspondent Jessica Parker said the review marked a change of position from ministers but that, with businesses already looking at ways they could keep workers and customers safe, the government was looking to get ahead of things.

"The conversation was just happening anyway. Businesses were looking at ways to make their workplaces safe, organisations were looking at ways to try to make their customers safe and the government risked not being part of that conversation but eventually being brought into it anyway," she said.


A No 10 spokesman said an international consensus needed to be built on how to allow greater foreign travel, which the UK was seeking to achieve via the G7 and other multilateral discussions.

"It will be for different countries to determine their own regimes in relation to the quarantine and who they want to allow in, and we want to try and work together to get some sort of international framework," he said.

Greek tourism minister Haris Theoharis told the BBC last week that early technical discussions were under way with UK officials about how a potential passport scheme might work. Saga Cruises announced last month it would require all travellers to prove they had received two vaccine doses before departure.

"You will be required to bring the vaccination document and/or evidence with you as proof at the time of boarding," its website said.

Meanwhile, holiday firms and airlines have reported a surge in bookings since plans for easing lockdown in England were unveiled on Monday.

Labour shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds told the BBC a review of vaccine passports was "sensible" but said it should be "conclusive" and consider all the evidence available.

Christopher Dye, professor of epidemiology at Oxford University, told the BBC that vaccine passports would "certainly be helpful in releasing the lockdown."


Freelance Researcher & News Compiler | Amanda Hopkins | Published | 2021 | February 25th | 05:00 | 


The views expressed in this Opinion Editorial are entirely the view of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views held by the Editorial Board of ‘The Way, or the Trustees/Directors of 66Books.’

Your Comments

There are no comments on this feature at present.

You can add your comment here