Health Minister Sajid Javid said the government has shelved the idea of vaccine passports for now but could reconsider the decision if COVID-19 cases rise exponentially once again.
“We’ve looked at it properly, and while we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports,” Javid told the BBC.
In particular, members of the governing Conservative Party have objected to such passports as an unacceptable burden on businesses and an infringement on residents’ human rights.
The idea of requiring people to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test for COVID-19 has been uncomfortable for many in Britain, where people generally aren’t required to carry identification documents.
Other European nations are using similar documents showing peoples’ vaccination status to re-open society — although the rules vary widely. Each of Germany’s 16 states has slightly different rules on what is required. Still, in general, people are required to show a negative test, vaccine, or recovery certificate before participating in indoor dining, drinking, or dancing.
Passes are required in France when frequenting bars, cafes, restaurants, museums, and other places where the public gathers and long-distance travel on buses, trains, and planes. In Italy, where discos have not re-opened since the start of the pandemic, so-called Green Passes are required to dine indoors, attend a concert, or for domestic travel by trains, buses, planes, or ferries, although local transport is exempt.