Covid test

Vaccine passport trial imminent as MPs rebel


Limited numbers may be allowed back into events (pic: SNS Group)

Theatres and stadiums could take part in a vaccine passport trial as early as next month amid growing opposition to the idea among MPs.

If approved the passports are likely to extended across the hospitality and leisure sector, including pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas.

Work is under way on an updated version of the NHS Covid app which will enable users to prove they have been vaccinated.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to back the idea when he announces the interim results of a study led by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove on Monday.

However, a growing lobby against the idea is growing in the Commons. Last night 72 MPs – including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn – issued a joint statement branding vaccine passports “divisive and discriminatory” and vowing to oppose them.

They have been supported by campaign groups Big Brother Watch, Liberty, the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and Privacy International. 

Their pledge states: “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of COVID status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs.”

But the PM seems resolute in the need for passports which he sees as a way of reassuring the public and businesses that hospitality and leisure venues can be reopened safely and that the travel industry can restart.

Mr Johnson said: “There’s definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports.

“When it comes to trying to make sure that we give maximum confidence to businesses and customers in the UK, there are three things – there’s immunity, whether you have had it before so you have natural antibodies, whether you have been vaccinated, and of course whether you have had a test.

“hose three things working together will be useful for us as we go forward.”

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