2021-06-07 jiangye111 15291
UK vaccine passport plans to be scrapped
-There will be no legal requirement to show Covid jab status at large events, as ministers go cool on proposals



Plans to make Covid-19 passports a legal requirement for large events are set to be dropped, The Telegraph understands.


Officials working on the review into Covid-19 status certification believe there is no chance the law will be changed to mandate their use within the UK.


“It’s not a case of ‘it’s finely balanced’. It’s not going to happen,” said one well-placed government source close to the review. “Everyone says it’s dead.”

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It comes as ministers examine data to determine whether the lifting of restrictions can continue as planned from June 21 in England, when it was hoped that the public would be able to return in greater numbers to mass events such as football matches and concerts.


The Government first expressed interest in Covid passports in February, when a review into their use domestically was launched as part of Boris Johnson's reopening roadmap for England.


Since then, ministers defined such checks as showing proof of three things: having had a Covid jab, a recent negative test, or antibodies after catching the virus.


Ethical concerns


Showing proof of a jab has become accepted for international travel, given that some countries demand evidence for entry, and UK travellers are already able to do so via the NHS app.


However, their use within the UK is much more controversial, with critics warning that making people show proof of their medical status for social events raises serious ethical questions.


Government ministers had been looking at changing the law to require Covid-19 passports at events such as football matches, concerts, festivals and business conferences.


The Prime Minister has already ruled out their use for essential activities such as visiting the supermarket or the GP, and indicated he is not in favour of their use by pubs and restaurants.


Plans ‘killed off’ as complications arise


However, figures on the Covid-19 taskforce, which sits in the Cabinet Office and has been looking into Covid-19 status certification, are now said to believe they will not be legally required at all.


The well-placed source told The Telegraph: “No one is talking about it still as a potential thing … It has been killed off really.”


Papers submitted to the Covid-19 Operations cabinet committee earlier this month, details of which have been shared with The Telegraph, help explain the diminishing interest.


They are understood to have noted that the NHS app could not have been used by foreign visitors, undercutting the system.


The papers also noted that there are some medical exemptions to getting jabs, including people who have allergic reactions and the young, which complicate matters.


Previously ministers in private meetings have raised concerns about what the exact health benefit of Covid-19 passports would be, pressing officials to be clearer about the rationale.


Another reason for the diminishing enthusiasm is the low level of cases and growing number of vaccinated Britons, meaning the health benefit is less clear, a point ministers have privately stressed.


Final sign-off for that decision is yet to be made.


Gove and Johnson both reluctant

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Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister overseeing the review, is yet to submit his recommendations to Mr Johnson. But sources close to both figures say they are instinctively reluctant to adopt the plans.


Furthermore, Israel, the country whose adoption of Covid-19 passports became the template studied closely by the UK (including a trip there from Mr Gove) will drop its "green pass" soon, because so many of its citizens are now vaccinated. That decision has been carefully noted by ministers.


The Government deciding not to change the law to force large events to use the passports would not in itself mean that such schemes are never adopted.

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A government upxe on the review in April said there was nothing stopping companies asking for proof of Covid-19 status before granting entry, providing they do not breach equalities laws.


Work on the NHS app, which is being converted to be able to show proof of a jab, negative test or antibodies, is likely to continue, given that it is being used for international travel.

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Government ministers may also choose to look again at Covid-19 passports for the autumn and winter, arguing that a sudden deterioration in the Covid situation could see the idea return.


Backbench triumph


However, the decision not to announce legal changes to mandate Covid-19 passports would be treated as a triumph by backbench Tory MPs, who vowed to join with Labour rebels to defeat the move.


Mr Gove, appearing before a sext committee on Thursday, hinted at the softening position as he stressed that the Government was not yet committed to bringing in Covid-19 passports.


He said: "I think there's been a perception among some, not in this committee, that the Government has locked on to this in the same way as JFK said that he was going to put a man on the moon, that we're going to introduce a policy for certification come what may, hell or high water.


“That's not the case. We've been looking at it pragmatically, to see if it can add value and, if not, then we would not press ahead with it.”


A Whitehall source said: “Michael has been listening very carefully to the arguments for and against Covid certification and the review has left no stone unturned in examining whether there is a case for them domestically. He will make recommendations to the PM soon".


A government spokesman said: “The Covid status certification review is ongoing and no final decisions have been taken yet. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will upxe Parliament after recess.”


GhostMotley3 weeks to flatten the curve
Sense prevails, COVID passports would have been utterly unworkable, entirely illiberal, ethically questionable to put it lightly and completely unnecessary, the pandemic is essentially over in the UK.


Pandemic is over ? Rising case numbers not agreeing with you. Hopefully death numbers will stay flat


VictuswolfTest, Trace & Quarantine Saves Lives. Gov waited till 2 late
Sense prevails, COVID passports would have been utterly unworkable, entirely illiberal, ethically questionable to put it lightly and completely unnecessary, the pandemic is essentially over in the UK.
A confirmed case is someone who has tested positive for coronavirus. There were 3,240 new people with a confirmed positive test result for coronavirus on 30 May 2021. Between 24 May 2021 and 30 May 2021, there were 22,474 people who had a confirmed positive test result. This shows an increase of 26.8% compared to the previous 7 days.
People have been saying its over each week and each month it carries on. With the new variants from abroad and people who think vaccine = infringing on my liberal freedoms it's not over yet.
From the perspective of someone who's friends mum died to covid, has two at risk family members and knows friends who likely be severely ill or die if they caught it i think scrapping passports is just another sign the government doesn't care about the loss of life this decision WILL cause.
We get vaccines as children to save lives. If Everyone was encouraged to have the covid vaccine it would save lives. We already had enough people lose their lives over the last year due to this nightmare and the way it was handled.


GhostMotley3 weeks to flatten the curve
Good, the Government shouldn't make saving every life the sole priority, it's a non-achievable goal and trying to get there will lead to economic and social ruin.
In a normal year, around 20,000 people would die from Flu in England, we never had 'Flu passports' or any restrictions for Flu.
Clearly there is an acceptable number of yearly COVID deaths we will have to live with, COVID isn't going to be eradicated so we will have to live with it, like we do a myriad of other viruses and diseases.
Vaccine uptake is very high in the UK, COVID passports aren't necessary, they are an authoritarian solution for a non-existent problem. And considering having the vaccine doesn't stop you spreading COVID, the assertion that vaccine passports would save lives is a dull one.


Phew time for a hot take.
I believe vaccines should be mandatory and failure to get one should result in your exile socially from basically everything. (Pubs, clubs, and Tesco)
Hence I think Vaccine Passports are a good idea and I like them.
For the record. Vaccines mandatory, Passports or whatever system you want to use optional as per the businesses own requirements.
Anyone want to change my mind as to why I shouldn't think this?


Do you think wantonly degrading your personal health, to the extent that you cannot survive an infection that is non-fatal in the vast majority of healthy people, is grounds for societally-enforced health mandates?
Basically, should obese people be sectioned under a public health equivalent of the Mental Health Act until they have lost enough body fat that they cannot be a burden to society's obligation of care to them?


The Covid-19 vaccine will save hundreds of thousands of lives, but effectively mandating it is incredibly illiberal and authoritarian. People have the right to deny themselves medical treatment, even if beneficial. In terms of the wider risk to the public, the unvaccinated population is small and ever-shrinking and at the end of the day, life is full of risk.


Sure, you have a right to deny yourself medical treatment. But then society has a right to exclude you from certain activities based on reasonable judgements.


Who are you to decide what liberties people have based on medical treatments people have had.
Should we exclude the obese from restaurants and restrict what they are allowed to purchase in terms of groceries. I mean it costs society to treat the ills coming from it so it affects all of us.
Society has a right to ridicule your authoritarian boot licking nonsense.


And having an enormous majority of the population vaccinated would mean the there would have been nowhere near anything resembling a "worst risk" so that's why we're not bothering with vaccine passports. Excellent news!


This is only in the case of large-scale events such as a football match. Are you against searching people going into a football ground to prevent them from taking weapons in? Life is full of risk, but if we can mitigate the worst risks with little negative impact, why not?


Sure, no one can make them get vaccinated, it's their body.
But similarly the rest of society should be able to advance without them.
In no way are their civil liberties being infringed here. They're making a choice that has consequences.


Yes, civil liberties aren't being infringed because we aren't getting domestic vaccine passports. Enough people in the correct positions saw how bad they would be for civil liberty and made their voices heard and now we aren't getting them. Rejoice.


Something isn't 'illiberal' just because it's not advocating some extreme form of libertarianism.
As a society, we require people to follow basic rules of health and hygiene in order to keep everyone else safe.
I agree that 'effectively' mandating vaccines is a bad strategy because it's ineffective. But in principle, it's not illiberal. Vaccines aren't some magical area of healthcare that follow a different set of standards.
Either we can't demand people follow any rules of health or hygiene, or it would be fine to require people to have a vaccination to do certain things. It doesn't make any sense to draw some arbitrary line because a bunch of conspiracy theorists don't believe in them.
It's only because Covid isn't that lethal that we can ultimately abide some people choosing to not get vaccinated when they could. I don't know where 'life is full of risk' would get you if this was MERS or the Hendra virus.
A basic tenant of liberalism is also that you don't have the right to go around killing other people.


Something isn't 'illiberal' just because it's not advocating some extreme form of libertarianism.
Not requiring businesses to verify an individual’s vaccination status before providing a service to a customer is hardly an “extreme form of libertarianism.”


To play devils advocate : how is this different from pubs and off licenses and other businesses being required to validate someone's age to serve them alcohol?
(for what it's worth I'm against vaccine passports, just trying to see if I can make a good faith argument for the opposite side.)


Prohibition of alcohol access by minors is in place because they cannot make decisions for themselves about their healthcare, which is why we as society say 'don't drink yet, you don't know the consequences of your actions'. Adults, however are allowed to make that decision because they're considered capable of assessing the risk that goes with any given action (although we're increasingly abandoning that, think fast food advertising bans etc). Vaccination is a medical treatment, and at the end of the day the decision over whether or not you wish to undergo it should be up to you, because you, as an adult, should have the ability to exercise bodily autonomy. Although it may increase your chance of making someone else ill by not getting it, the default state of the human is not to have undergone that treatment, and under the ancient jurisprudence in English common law countries, you have no legal duty to act to protect another person from something which is of natural origin (the legal example always given is that you've no obligation to help a drowning man).


habylabWhere's Your Tory Landslide?
I don't think this is sensible. It's reasonable to try and limit chances of spread where possible. Large scale events you book in advance, asking for either vaccine proof/negative test or antibodies proof isn't that much to ask.


AdmiralGingeChaotic Neutral Party
Good riddance! Let’s hope this turd of a policy has been permanently flushed and doesn’t float to the surface again. This is good news for privacy and those who oppose post-pandemic authoritarianism.


Everyone saying this policy is ‘unworkable’ should be less insular. I live in a country where it is already policy and it works fine. I’m not saying it’s necessary or ethical, but it is workable.


ClutchHunterIncreasingly cynical
Reminds me of Americans arguing about how impossible universal healthcare or gun control would be there.
Yeah, because of your circular opposition.


Yeah I'm in Austria and it works here, I guess the big difference is how easy it is to get tested. I've had more tests in the 2 months I've been here than the 12 months I was in the UK. I definitely feel safer going out knowing everyone else in the building is tested.