Vaccine passports not needed for steps two and three of lockdown easing – PM

Luke Powell
·2-min read

Watch: What is the UK's future on testing, travel and vaccine passports?

Vaccine passports will not be implemented in steps two and three of the Government’s road map to ease lockdown restrictions in England, the Prime Minister has pledged.

Boris Johnson said Covid status certification would not be introduced when measures are eased further on April 12 and May 17 – the date when indoor hospitality resumes.

He told a Downing Street press conference on Monday that the Government was still “some way off finalising any plans” for certification.

The so-called vaccine passports are expected to show whether someone had received a vaccine, had a negative coronavirus test or had contracted and recovered from Covid-19 within the past six months.

Hospitality venues re-opening
Outdoor hospitality is due to resume on Monday (Yui Mok/PA)

Mr Johnson said: “On Covid status certification, as we prefer to call it, the most important thing to say to everybody listening and watching is there’s absolutely no question of people being asked to produce certification or a Covid status report when they go to the shops or to the pub garden or to their hairdressers or whatever on Monday.

“And indeed we are not planning that for stage three either, May 17 as you know we are hoping to go for the opening up of indoor hospitality and so on.

“We are not planning for anything of that kind at that stage.”

However, Mr Johnson did hint that the certification scheme could be used for some pilot events involving large numbers of people over the coming weeks.

“Obviously we are looking at it (Covid certification),” he said.

“We want to be going ahead in the next few weeks with some test events, some pilot events. Big events, getting 20,000 people into Wembley on May 15, that kind of thing.

Watch: How England will leave lockdown

“Getting people back into theatre, that will unquestionably involve testing to allow the audience really to participate in the numbers that people want.”

Mr Johnson’s comments came as the Government published the latest findings from its reviews of Covid status certification – so-called “vaccine passports” – and international travel.

The review suggested a certification scheme could have an “important role to play both domestically and internationally, as a temporary measure” – but Mr Johnson faces opposition from MPs on both sides of the Commons who are concerned about the civil liberties implications.

Asked if the vaccine passports were “un-British”, Mr Johnson said: “The principle of requiring some people to have a certificate to prove they are not passing on the disease, like surgeons who have to prove they are vaccinated against hep B or whatever, that can be a sensible one.

“But I want to stress that we are some way off finalising any plans for Covid certification in the UK.”