THE Government is reportedly ditching plans for Covid passports – after months of debate on whether Brits would need them to watch the football or visit a pub.
Top officials on the Covid-19 taskforce believe there’s no chance the law will be changed to mandate their use within the UK, although ministers are yet to make the final call.
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Covid passports have been ‘killed off’, it’s reported
If the scheme is given the green light, Brits could be forced to produce evidence of a jab, a negative test or Covid antibodies to get into big events like concerts or sports matches.
It’s understood that, whatever the decision is for crowds, the idea has been jettisoned altogether for boozers and restaurants.
And one ‘well-placed’ source told The Telegraph the idea is dead in the water.
It comes as:
They said: “No one is talking about it still as a potential thing. It has been killed off really.
“It’s not a case of ‘it’s finely balanced’.
“It’s not going to happen. Everyone says it’s dead.”
Officials have been looking into the feasibility of the passports and how they might play a part on normal life in the months to come since February.
Covid status is already being used for Brits heading abroad on holiday as it’s a condition of entry for some countries.
Travellers from the UK are able to show if they’ve been jabbed via the NHS app.
However, use of passports within Britain had been much more controversial, and critics argued it raised serious ethical questions.
Cases of Covid are beginning to rise again – although they remain well below January’s peak
As of May 17, Brits have been allowed to drink inside pubs again – as long as they log their detailsCredit: NB PRESS LTD
But it’s not though the Government will insist on a passport system to prove Covid status for anyone wanting a pintCredit: nb press ltd
Football fans are also unlikely to be asked for documentation of a jab or a negative test, it’s understoodCredit: AP
Last week, Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove played down the prospect of certificates, and stressed they would only ever be brought in temporarily, if at all.
Despite that, the Government previously said there was nothing stopping businesses asking for proof of inoculation before granting entry.
A Whitehall source told the publication: “Michael has been listening very carefully to the arguments for and against Covid certification.
“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.”
News that the passports have been dropped comes as Boris Johnson mulls over plans to lift the final stage of lockdown on June 21.
Ministers are currently examining data to see if the UK can have its longed-for ‘freedom day’ next month.
A source said there are no further plans to ask for certification even at major sporting events, although a final decision has not yet been madeCredit: Getty
It comes as the Indian mutation takes hold across the UK – forcing up casesCredit: MEN Media
But it’s understood that while the ‘one metre-plus’ social distancing rule is set to go, masks and advice to work from home will linger on for months.
Cases of the Indian mutation are surging around the country, and 40 per cent more people have been newly-diagnosed with Covid today than this time last week.
A clear divide is also emerging in areas where the variant is now dominant.
Blackburn has overtaken Bolton as England’s Covid hotspot.
A total of 584 confirmed cases were recorded in Blackburn in the seven days to May 26, Public Health England said.
It’s the equivalent of 390.1 cases per 100,000 people – meaning the Lancashire town has overtaken Bolton, where cases are finally beginning to drop and 386.7 cases per 100,000 have been recorded.
Another area of Lancashire, Rossendale, is now recording the third highest rate of new Covid-19 cases in the UK.
Currently, there are 292.4 cases per 100,000 people – a steep rise from 63 per 100,000 just a week earlier.
Overall, 230 of the 380 local areas in the UK – 61 per cent – recorded a week-on-week rise in Covid cases as of May 26.
The news is likely to give the PM more concern over whether it’s safe to lift restrictions altogether.