Britain will not introduce COVID-19 vaccine passports, but people will be able to seek proof from their doctor if needed for travel to other countries, vaccine deployment minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Sunday. “We are certainly not looking to introduce it as part of the vaccine deployment programme,” Zahawi said.
Deployment Minister Nadhim Zahawi denied claims that the UK government is planning to introduce a “vaccine
passport” detailing which Brits have been vaccinated and which haven't, calling the idea “discriminatory.”
Asked during an interview with Sky News on Sunday whether the government is looking at the possibility of creating a vaccine
passport, as has been speculated, Zahawi said, “No we are not.”
The minister explained that those who receive their first dose of the vaccine
get “a card from the NHS with their name on it,” the date they received their first dose, and the date of the second dose, and that this is all the government is currently supporting.
Zahawi said the major reasons why the government is not planning a vaccine
passport is because “we don't know the impact of the vaccines
on transmission,” with vaccinated Brits currently being warned that they could still carry the virus, and that the practice “would be discriminatory.”
I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward and be vaccinated because they want to, rather than it being made in some way mandatory through a passport.
If other countries demand proof of vaccination for entry, he added, “then you can ask your GP, because your GP will hold the record.”
Zahawi did acknowledge that technology companies have received funding from UK Research and Innovation to look at the creation of vaccine
passport apps, but concluded, “We are not planning to have a passport in the UK.”
“I just want to repeat that because I've had a lot of it on my social media,” he explained, adding, “We are certainly not looking to introduce this as part of the vaccine
A petition calling for the UK government to commit against rolling out a vaccine
passport received nearly 60,000 signatures after reports indicated that it was looking at such a system to allow Brits to go abroad.
The concept of a vaccine
passport has become extremely controversial in the UK and elsewhere, with figures like former Prime Minister Tony Blair in support, but others arguing it would turn those who have not been vaccinated into 'second-class' citizens and essentially strongarm them into getting vaccinated against their wishes.