UK Looks Into "Vaccine Passports"

The UK is considering "Vaccine Passports" to prove people's protection against Covid-19. Many are now wondering how this would work and if it will be fair towards those people who have chosen not to get the vaccine.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the UK government will be considering the case for the introduction of "Vaccine passports". This document could come in the form of a vaccine certificate or a proof of Covid-19 status and this information could be provided on the NHS mobile app. 

Currently people who have gotten vaccinated receive a vaccination card and all the details are placed in their medical records. A vaccine passport would be a way for people to prove that they are at a lower risk of contracting or transmitting Covid-19. The way in which this might be implemented is by adding it to the existing NHS app and people could then present this wherever they go to prove that they have been vaccinated or had a recent negative test. 

Mr Johnson has acknowledged that implementing this could be very difficult considering many complexities. He said that the country has "never thought in terms of having something that you have to show to go to a pub or a theatre".

"There are deep and complex issues that we need to explore, ethical issues," said Mr Johnson. 

Mr Johnson added that they could not be discriminatory against people who can't have the vaccine due to medical reasons or if people refuse to take the vaccine. 

He said that it was possible to consider issues surrounding these "vaccine passports" at the same time as the rollout of the vaccine. 

BBC News reported that some care homes as well as businesses already require people to have the vaccine if they seek to work for them. 

Many ministers have said that it will be unfair to make these "Vaccine Passports" compulsory as the government has said that vaccination is voluntary. 

"It's a fundamental right that we should be able to choose what medical treatment we have or we don't have," said Advocacy Director for Liberty, Grey Collier. 

Vaccine passports have already been discussed by countries, including Greece as a measure to safely open countries to international leisure travel. 

However ministers in the UK have often dismissed the introduction of a similar scheme for hospitality and leisure activities. 

Many airlines have said that they may require people to show a vaccine certificate to travel into certain countries and Greece has encouraged the European Union to consider the use of these certificates. 

A petition has also been signed by more than 200 000 people within the UK asking the government not to introduce vaccine passports. 

The review of the vaccine passports will look into the privacy and ethical issues as well as how far businesses will be allowed to go in terms of requesting Covid-19 passports. 

The review's findings of the vaccine passports are hoped to be available before England's final stage of easing their lockdown on 21 June, which is the earliest date which ministers hope most Covid-19 measures can end. 

Currently more than 17.9 million people across the UK have now received their first vaccine dose. 


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