Westminster launches consultation on Covid Passports

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Westminster launches consultation on Covid Passports

Related tags Coronavirus Vaccine passport Scotland Westminster

The English government has launched a consultation requesting evidence on the proposal for mandatory Covid Passports for use in a ‘Plan B scenario’.

As set out by the Prime Minister on 14 September, mandatory vaccine-only certification could potentially be introduced in certain settings of the NHS becomes overwhelmed. 

The government is asking for views on its proposals by 11 October,​ with officials set to directly engage with businesses and key stakeholder representative groups in the coming weeks. 

The Government says it is particularly interested in views from businesses, event organisers, and venue operators that have experience of using certification on a voluntary basis over the summer, and on the proposals for testing or vaccination of their workforce.

“The vaccine programme has tilted the odds in our favour in our shared fight against this virus and while we are totally confident the careful steps we are taking will help rule out the need for mandatory vaccine certificates, we need to be prepared for all scenarios,” says Health Minister Maggie Throup. 

Covid Passports went live in Scotland today (1 October) with people now being asked to prove they have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine in order to enter nightclubs and large events.

But the legal enforcement of the scheme will not apply until 18 October,​with a ‘grace period’ given to venues in order to get the necessary systems and processes in place.

Problems have been reported with Scotland’s Covid Passport app just hours after its launch, with a number of users taking to social media to report problems with its identification process. 

The Scottish government said the volume of people trying to access the app may be responsible for the issues.

Scotland’s Covid Passports were the subject of an unsuccessful legal challenge earlier this week from group’s including Night Time Industries Association Scotland, which branded the proposed system “discriminatory” and “disproportionate”.

People in Wales will have to show an NHS Covid Pass​ to enter nightclubs and attend large events from 11 October. But unlike Scotland, the NHS Covid Pass will allow adults to prove they have had a recent negative lateral flow test if they have not been fully vaccinated. 

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