People will need to be provided with the ability to certify that they have had a coronavirus vaccination, Matt Hancock has said.
The Health Secretary told MPs “it is clear” that individuals will need a way of showing that they have had a jab, but that those who cannot be inoculated for medical reasons will “absolutely” be taken “into consideration”.
His comments came as the Government faced mounting pressure from Conservative MPs to avoid introducing Covid passports for people to travel domestically around the UK.
Speaking during a ministerial statement on the pandemic in the Commons, Conservative Sir Edward Leigh said: “I received an email from a lady this morning who is extremely clinically vulnerable and she, for perfectly good medical reasons, can’t receive a flu jab or a Covid jab.
“So she is very concerned she won’t be able to leave her front door if we bring in Covid passports.
“So for reasons of civil liberties, will the Secretary of State make absolutely clear that we’re not interested in bringing in Covid passports internally.
“But they are useful for foreign travel, and I say to (Jonathan Ashworth) that with the benefit of hindsight perhaps we should have introduced a hotel quarantine system much sooner.
“But can the Secretary of State make clear that he will resist the travel lobby and will absolutely be upfront and be honest with people and say it is very unwise to book summer holidays now – there may be these mutants – it is better just to hold off.
“I think people accept the Government being tough as long as the Government is consistent, particularly on foreign travel.”
Mr Hancock replied: “The point about certification is an important one and whilst the decisions on certification are being currently reviewed in a review led by (Michael Gove), it is clear that we will need to provide people with the ability to certify whether they have had the jab.
“And we will need to absolutely take into consideration those who have a certified clinical reason why they can’t have the jab – which does apply to a relatively small number of people – but it is an important consideration that will be taken forward as part of that work.”
The Health Secretary refused to be drawn on whether people should be booking summer holidays.