As the country reopens, ministers hope the “covid-status certification” system will allow those who are vaccinated, have had a recent negative test or a positive test within six months to return to theaters, football matches, cinemas and other events.
“We have made huge strides over the past few months with our vaccine programme and everyone in the country has made huge sacrifices to get us to this stage in our recovery from covid-19,” Johnson said in a statement on Saturday. “We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”
Davey described the passports as “illiberal and unworkable” in a tweet Friday.
“Work is ongoing with clinical and ethical experts to ensure appropriate exemptions for people for whom vaccination is not advised and repeat testing would be difficult,” the government said in Saturday’s statement.
A tourism minister said Sunday the certification was “one of the tools” the government is looking at to “help us get back to the things that we love.”
“We’re very conscious and very aware of the ethical considerations around vaccination certification,” Nigel Huddleston told CNN affiliate ITN. “The key purpose of looking at this option is to see how it can enable us to open up, getting back to the things that we want to do sooner… Lots of businesses tell me opening is one thing, but what we really need to do is be able to open profitably and as long as social distancing is around, then that causes real challenges for us to be able to open as viable businesses again.”
International travel from the UK is still banned until May 17, but after that date the government will implement a “traffic light” system. Travelers arriving from “green” countries will not have to isolate while those from “red” or “amber” will continue to be restricted to the mandatory quarantine policies currently in place.
Robert Iddiols, Kelly Murray, Gregory Lemos and Alaa Elassar contributed to this report.