UK Government Considering 'Vaccine Passports' for All Aspects of Everyday Life
Dominic Raab says proof of jab may be needed to enter pubs, stores, public transport
The UK government has revealed that it is considering introducing "vaccine passports" that will be required for all aspects of everyday life such as entering stores, traveling on public transport, or even buying food.
The government has been planning to make proof of COVID-19 vaccinations a requirement for international travel for some time.
However, the "vaccine passports" plan has triggered more confusion after Secretary of State Dominic Raab suggested they could also be needed to get into all stores and pubs within the UK.
Speaking during an interview on LBC Sunday, Raab appeared to contradict a series of other government statements as he revealed the idea is "under consideration."
The comments risked provoking anger from the Conservative Party which is already deeply alarmed about the way the pandemic has hammered civil liberties.
Aides scrambled to clarify that Mr. Raab had been responding to a "hypothetical" question and while "vaccine passports" are being looked at for international travel, they are "not being considered domestically."
Ministers have revealed that work is underway on a system that could allow foreign travel to resume, with Spain the latest country to say it is ready to welcome Brits who have had jabs, according to The Daily Mail.
But the government has repeatedly said such documents will not be introduced in the UK, suggesting it would be "discriminatory."
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said just last week that the move is "not on the cards."
The dramatically different position from Raab's Sunday comments.
Pressed repeatedly on whether "vaccine passports" could be needed to get into pubs and supermarkets in this country, he said: "It is something that hasn't been ruled out.
"It is under consideration. But of course, you've got to make it workable."
Mr. Raab said the "modalities and mechanisms" of how people could prove they have been vaccinated were all being looked at.
"You've got to know that the document that is being presented is something that you can rely on," he said.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab tells LBC that Covid-19 vaccine passports 'haven't been ruled out,' and are 'under consideration' for domestic use in supermarkets or restaurants.@TomSwarbrick1 | @DominicRaab pic.twitter.com/WyX3HxDp3Y— LBC (@LBC) February 14, 2021
The comments came amid claims major City firms are expecting to start using digital health passports from next month to help get staff back to offices.
COVID-19 testing firm Prenetics has signed deals with around 100 companies – including investment banks based at Canary Wharf in London – to help get staff back to work safely.
Employees using its Digital Health Passport will download an app onto their mobile phone, which will store results of their COVID tests and vaccine certificates when they have had their jabs.