Documents submitted to the Covid-19 Operations cabinet committee earlier this month suggest members are against the idea of using domestic coronavirus passports, with a source saying it has been “killed off”
Britain plans to drop coronavirus passports as a legal requirement for large events, it has been claimed.
The UK officials working on the review into Covid-19 status certificates believe there is no chance the law will be changed to mandate their use within the UK, according to the Telegraph.
It comes as the much-anticipated full lifting of restrictions on June 21 in England remains in doubt as the Indian variant continues to surge through various hotspots across the country.
The final stage would see mass events such as sporting events, concerts and full weddings allowed once again.
Ministers were first reported to be discussing the potential for Covid passports in February, weeks after England was thrust into a third lockdown.
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Boris Johnson announced his plans for a cautious roadmap to recovery during a live briefing on February 22, in which he also revealed a review was underway to discuss the use of such documents domestically.
The certificates would show a person’s status in relation to vaccination, recent negative tests or presence of antibodies.
Those travelling abroad from the UK are already able to use the NHS app to prove jab status, with certain countries making it a requirement for entry.
Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
However, domestic use would be far more controversial, with critics arguing it raises major ethical questions.
The PM ruled them out for essential activities, including going to the supermarket, while suggesting he was also against them for use in entering pubs.
And while their use at mass events is believed to have been discussed more seriously, members of the Covid taskforce are understood to have now ruled them out entirely.
A source told The Daily Telegraph: “No one is talking about it still as a potential thing … It has been killed off really.”
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“It’s not a case of it’s finely balanced, it’s not going to happen. Everyone says it’s dead.”
The newspaper has also seen documents submitted to the Covid-19 Operations cabinet committee earlier this month.
The papers are understood to have said the NHS app could not have been used by foreign visitors greatly reducing its impact.
And also that medical exemptions and age limits mean many people can’t get the jabs.
Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister overseeing the review, has not yet submitted his recommendations to Mr Johnson.
But is understood neither is keen to adopt the idea going forward.
Mr Gove told MPs on last week that he hoped to provide an update after the Commons recess – which ends on June 7.
He said: “We hope to be able to explain what our approach will be when the House of Commons returns.”
But Mr Gove failed to guarantee decision or policy will be ready in time for Step 4 of England’s roadmap, from June 21 at the earliest.
He said: “People have quite rightly linked Covid status certification to Stage 4.
“There’s no absolute necessary ironclad inviolable link between the two, but naturally as we contemplate reopening at stage four, people will understandably want to know what our approach towards certification will be and how that will operate.”
Mr Gove revealed no “overall judgement” had been taken on whether a passport scheme is needed at all, due to the low circulation of the virus.
An update on the review in April made it clear that individual businesses could ask for proof of Covid status for customers, as long as equalities laws aren’t breached.
A government spokesman said: “The Covid status certification review is ongoing and no final decisions have been taken yet.
“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will update Parliament after recess.”