April 2, 2021 2.04 pm This story is over 31 months old

Plans for COVID-19 vaccine passports on NHS app to enter stadiums & pubs

Opposition calling it “divisive and discriminatory”

The UK government is considering plans for so-called COVID-19 passports for those who have been vaccinated, allowing them access to pubs, restaurants, theatres, stadiums and nightclubs without social distancing needed.

Trials of vaccine passports or “certificates” could begin next month and a pilot scheme will begin to update the NHS COVID App to allow users to prove they have been vaccinated.

Government officials are working on an update for the NHS COVID app to enable people to scan their vaccine status at the entrance of a venue, with paper versions being developed for those without a smartphone.

Boris Johnson could give the go-ahead on Easter Monday. However, over 70 Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs have criticised the Prime Minister’s plans for the scheme.

A poll found 68% would support the idea for theatres and indoor concerts to reopen with the passport, with 18% opposed. These venues are expected to be in the pilot.

Mr Johnson suggested last week that it could be down to pub owners to decide whether they require vaccine certificates for people to enter.

An alliance of Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott and former Tory Cabinet ministers Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Sir John Redwood and Esther McVey condemned vaccine passports as “divisive and discriminatory”.

Member of the coalition organised by pressure group Big Brother Watch also said: “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of COVID status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs.”