Matt Hancock Rules Out Domestic Vaccine Passports A Day After Dominic Raab Said They Were Being Considered
Matt Hancock contradicted comments from his Cabinet colleague Dominic Raab on vaccine passports (PA)
The government has created more confusion over the possibility of vaccine passports after Matt Hancock contradicted what his Cabinet colleague Dominic Raab said on the matter yesterday.
After the foreign secretary suggested they may be introduced for use at “domestic or local level” the health secretary this morning claimed otherwise, saying "it is not anything we are planning to introduce here”.
It is the latest in a series of seemingly contradictory messages from ministers and Downing Street on whether people will be asked to prove they have had a Covid jab in the future.
Boris Johnson has often said as the UK will not force everyone to get vaccinated, and that it could be “discriminatory” to use whether someone is immunised as a barrier to returning to normal activities.
When asked however if Brits will be able to show they have had a jab in order to travel to a country which requires it, the government has suggested this is something they are looking at.
“There are some countries around the world that are considering bringing in rules saying you can only travel if you have been vaccinated – these aren’t in place yet but there are countries who are actively floating this idea and proposing it," Hancock told Sky News this morning.
“In that case, it will be important for people from the UK to be able to show whether or not they have been vaccinated in order to travel, so we are working with countries around the world on the basis for this and how that vaccine certification can happen in a way that can be assured.
“We want Brits to be able to travel to those countries and therefore enable Brits to be able to demonstrate their vaccine status, so that sort of vaccine certification is something we are talking to our international counterparts about.”
But he ruled out plans for the UK to introduce a “domestic passport”, after host Niall Paterson asked: "Do I need a vaccine passport to go to the pub when they open?"
"We do not have plans to do that," Hancock replied.
"As I say there is this international work going on because if other countries require that we want to allow Brits to be able to travel to those countries.
Hancock reiterated the point on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, claiming that vaccine passports are "an important and live question”, but they will not involve domestic certification.
But yesterday, Raab appeared to go further on whether the government was looking at using vaccine passports to allow people to enjoy greater freedoms.
“It’s something that hasn’t been ruled out and it’s under consideration, but of course you’ve got to make it workable,” he said on LBC on Sunday.
The foreign secretary added: “Whether it’s at an international, domestic or local level, you’ve got to know that the document being presented is something that you can rely on and that it’s an accurate reflection of the status of the individual.”