Menu
Fri, 3 February 2023

Newsletter sign-up

Subscribe now
The House Live All
Health
Only Half of UK Health Boards are Catering for People with Functional Neurological Disorder Partner content
By FND Hope UK
Health
Health
We know prevention is better than the cure, and it could be the only way to save the NHS. Partner content
Health
2022: Catalysing the UK’s journey as an innovation nation Partner content
Environment
Press releases

Ministers Are Set To Discuss Vaccine And Testing "Passport" Plans, Despite Repeated Denials

Ministers Are Set To Discuss Vaccine And Testing 'Passport' Plans, Despite Repeated Denials

Ministers are reportedly set to discuss the plans tomorrow

2 min read

The government is set to discuss plans for a vaccine and testing certification scheme, despite repeated denials from ministers that any scheme was being considered.

According to Sky News, the government will hold a meeting on Friday to discuss the plans which have been put together by the Cabinet Office to ensure Brits are able to visit countries once international travel is allowed.

Ministers have repeatedly denied that a formal vaccine passport scheme would be put in place, despite some countries, including Greece, suggesting they would only open their borders to tourists who could prove their vaccination status.

The government batted away reports last week that a formal plan was being developed, saying instead that travellers would be able to prove their vaccination status by contacting their GP for a letter.

If approved, the Department of Transport would reportedly be responsible for drawing up plans for the scheme, with the NHS asked to prepare for people to be able to access their vaccine status to prepare for international travel.

Meanwhile, it is believed the Cabinet Office will lead on efforts to begin "formal engagement" with other countries about the plans.

Earlier this week, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the BBC's Today programme that he expected any future system would work in a similar way to current vaccine certificates, "just as we have the yellow fever card". 

"I imagine that in the future there'll be an international system where countries will want to know that you've been potentially vaccinated," he said. 

But a government insider reportedly told Sky News there was "nervousness" around the announcement of the scheme and how it would be rolled out.

It comes just days after vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi claimed the government was not looking into any passporting scheme, telling Sky's Sophy Ridge: "One, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission; two it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to rather than it being made in some ways mandatory through a passport."

He added: "If other countries obviously require some form of proof, you can ask your GP - because your GP will hold the records - and of course that will then be able to be used as proof that you have had your vaccine, but we are not planning to have a passport in the UK."

PoliticsHome Newsletters

PoliticsHome provides the most comprehensive coverage of UK politics anywhere on the web, offering high quality original reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Partner content
Connecting Communities

Connecting Communities is an initiative aimed at empowering and strengthening community ties across the UK. Launched in partnership with The National Lottery, it aims to promote dialogue and support Parliamentarians working to nurture a more connected society.

Find out more