health

NHS app could display Covid status as ministers review vaccine passport


T

he NHS app could be used to display vaccine status or your latest Covid-19 test results to gain entry to pubs and theatres.

But it was understood that the “proper review” will also investigate whether businesses such as pubs and theatres could be prohibited from making access conditional on vaccination alone.

Current thinking was that customers required to by venue owners may be able to use the NHS Covid-19 app to prove that they have either received a jab or a recent negative test, and therefore be granted entry.

Combining the two events was understood to be one option being considered by ministers to avoid discriminating against those who decline the jab for health, or other, reasons.

The review came as the Prime Minister said he was “very optimistic” he will be able to fully remove all of England’s restrictions on June 21, but warned “nothing can be guaranteed”.

Johnson ‘very optimistic’ that he will be able to ease all the restrictions by June 21

And First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said people needed to keep an open mind to the possibility of vaccine passports, as she set out her plans for easing Scotland’s lockdown.

Senior officials, including the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi, have frequently appeared to dismiss the idea of introducing vaccine passports in the UK.

During a visit to a school on Tuesday, Mr Johnson acknowledged that “fervent libertarians” will reject the idea, but said others will “think there’s a case for it”.

The Prime Minister said there may be medical reasons why people cannot be vaccinated, or may be “mistaken” others who refuse to receive a jab.

“We can’t be discriminatory against people who for whatever reason can’t have the vaccine,” Mr Johnson said, at Sedgehill Academy, in Lewisham, south-east London.

He added that Mr Gove, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, will lead a review “getting the best scientific, moral, philosophical, ethical viewpoints on it and will work out a way forward”.

Ms Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that she would “never support something that deepens social inequalities” or “took away people’s civil liberties” based on their medical history.

But she added: “We should think properly, without closing our minds at this stage, to what a vaccine passport or certificate might offer us.”

Additional reporting by PA



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