Sunday 7 February 2021 10:03 am

UK will not issue vaccine passports, says Nadhim Zahawi

The UK will not be issuing vaccine passports to allow people who have had Covid jabs to travel, according to vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi.

The Times reported on Friday that the government would implement Covid vaccine passports in time for summer, however Zahawi categorically denied the report today.

Read more: UK government will ‘help facilitate’ vaccine passports, says minister

Speak to Sky News, he said: “One, we don’t know the impact of the vaccines on transmission.

“Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.

“If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you’ve had the vaccine.

“But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK.”

Both Denmark and Sweden have announced plans to introduce digital vaccine certificates to kickstart tourism back into action after almost a year of hibernation.

The Swedish government said it hoped to implement vaccine passports by June, and would work to make the national certificates compatible with international certificates being discussed by both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the EU.

“With a digital vaccine certificate it will be quick and easy to prove a completed vaccination,” Anders Ygeman, Sweden’s minister for digital development, said in a statement. 

Denmark earlier this week said it would initially publish an online registry of people’s vaccination statuses by the end of February while it develops a long-term solution.

Foreign minister James Cleverly refused to rule out the prospect of the UK creating its own vaccine passport on Friday.

Read more: German finance minister lashes out at EU vaccine drought

He told the BBC: “The decisions that individual countries make about their own incoming arrangements are up to them… It is often the case that the entry requirements for countries [include] vaccines and inoculations — that is not an uncommon practice.

“We will work with international partners to help facilitate their border arrangements and immigration requirements.”

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