Monday 7 December 2020 8:00 am

Minister does not rule out Covid vaccine passports

A government minister has refused to rule out a Covid vaccine passport to allow people access to places such as pubs and restaurants once the jab has become available. 

Junior foreign office minister James Cleverly told Sky News: “Having confidence is important and that’s what the [vaccine] rollout plan is all about.” 

The NHS has issued information about a vaccination card which it encourages people to keep in their purse or wallet. The card has space for the date and batch number for the two jabs recipients will get. 

Hospitality industry leaders have speculated that proof of immunisation could fast-track the return of live events.

Cleverly, who said he did not want to be drawn into “semantics”, said “Ultimately what we’re looking to do is get this vaccine rolled out as quickly as possible… and start working back towards the lives we were used to living.” 

It comes a week after senior Cabinet Minister Michael Gove told Sky News that a vaccine passport was not on the cards. “No that’s not being planned… I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports and I don’t know anyone else in government who is.” 

He was later contradicted by the newly appointed vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi who suggested an “immunity passport” could be used by pubs, restaurants and venues. 

It comes as hospitals prepare to roll out the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine to the most vulnerable from tomorrow.