Michael Gove eyes scheme that could speed up return to bars

New push for vaccine passports: Michael Gove eyes scheme that could speed up our return to bars and theatres after lockdown

  • Michael Gove is heading a review looking into Covid-status certification for Brits
  • Vaccine passports could see lifting of limits on social contacts being accelerated
  • Gove said that there may be ethical considerations around the passports

Vaccine passports could be used to accelerate the lifting of limits on social contact, the Government said last night.

Michael Gove is heading a review into Covid-status certification, which could see Britons having to prove they have been vaccinated or received a negative test before going into venues like pubs and theatres.

Last night the Cabinet Office Minister said that while the passports could help ‘reopen the country and return to normal’, there may be ethical considerations.

These could make the scheme unviable, such as disadvantaging minority communities, he added.

Michael Gove (right) is heading a review into Covid-status certification, which could see Britons having to prove they have been vaccinated or received a negative test before going into venues like pubs and theatres

Mr Gove’s review will examine if any restrictions should be placed on any particular organisations using vaccine passports.

This follows concerns that some bosses may make having the jab a condition of employment.

It will also consider if certification could play a role in ‘reducing restrictions on social contact’.

The analysis will feed into a separate review into when to lift social distancing requirements, such as the two-metre rule and wearing masks.

It will also look at whether passports could help with the reopening of the economy ‘more quickly and more safely than otherwise’.

Last night the Government said it was inviting evidence from organisations and individuals with relevant expertise in certification as well as those it would impact.

Last night the Cabinet Office Minister said that while the passports could help ‘reopen the country and return to normal’, there may be ethical considerations (stock image)

‘This review is an important part of our plan to help reopen the country and return to normal,’ said Mr Gove.

‘However, we recognise there are complex issues of ethics, privacy and inclusion. That is why I want to get as many views as possible.’

The Government has committed to concluding the assessment ahead of Step Four of the four-stage lockdown easing plan, which will happen no earlier than June 21.

The terms of reference state it will examine the ‘implications of certification for those unable or unwilling to get vaccinated or tested, including the equalities implications; and the impacts on groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic’.

The review will also look at ‘technological and non-technological’ options for showing someone has had the vaccine or a test, as well as ‘what limits, if any, should be placed on which organisations could use certification for which purposes’.

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