UK government considers vaccine passports for use at large events
A Whitehall source has said that vaccine passports could be used at large events, such as sports matches concerts.
No formal decision has yet been made a review of the use of vaccine certificates in Englis expected to confirm on Monday that they will not be compulsory.
This follows MPs previously warning ministers against introducing the certificates, on the grounds that it is unjustified discriminatory.
WHY IT MATTERS
The UK has been conducting a review for Englto move towards the last stage of the roadmap out of restrictions. Certificates that prove who is vaccinated could help ease restrictions enable parts of the economy to reopen, avoiding critical impact on businesses.
In the following weeks, the UK government has debated delaying lockdown restrictions in England, meaning that limits for sports, pubs cinemas remain.
The talks have been initiated by scientists calling for the reopening to be delayed amid the rising cases of the Delta variant, to enable more people to receive their second vaccine dose.
Prime minister, Boris Johnson is due to confirm the delay today at 18:00 BST.
THE LARGER CONTEXT
The Equality Human Rights Commission says certificates to prove who is vaccinated could create a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights”.
In Europe, 12 countries are now using the EU Digital Covid Certificate, to allow free movement of travellers between its countries. The Commission has proposed a framework for a European Digital Identity, which will enable all EU citizens to prove their identity share electronic documents.
Last month, it was announced that people in Englwill be able to use the NHS app as a vaccine passport. An update that went live on 17 May enabled the app to display COVID vaccine records, in a separate tab, so there is no longer the need to contact a GP.
Meanwhile, the Ada Lovelace Institute published a paper recommending requirements that governments should meet before permitting vaccine passports.
Attendees, exhibitors, speakers staff will need to verify that they’re fully vaccinated to gain entry to the HIMSS21 campus in Las Vegas. HIMSS will offer more guidance soon on proof validation, including potential digital apps.
ON THE RECORD
Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the EHRC, said if the certificates are introduced, they must be time-limited regularly reviewed by Parliament to ensure they are proportionate. She said those who cannot take the vaccine must have easy access to exemption documentation.
“We would monitor the rollout to ensure the right balance is struck between protecting the public’s health our individual freedoms,” she said.
HIMSS will continue to update the HIMSS21 Health Safety Hub.