Boris Johnson poised to announce coronavirus certificate scheme
- Credit: PA
Prime minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a “Covid status certification” scheme to enable a safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events.
Trial events requiring so-called "vaccine passports" for guests are set to go ahead later this month – with the Government considering them to be the best way to ensure places such as football grounds and nightclubs can reopen without the need for social distancing.
Mr Johnson will set out the plans for the development of the scheme on Monday – although will face opposition from within his own party.
More than 40 Conservative MPs have already publicly declared their opposition to the idea and are suspicious of "vaccine passports" for domestic use.
Discussions are underway with clinical and ethical experts over exemptions from the scheme, however.
It is understood the scheme will take three things into account – whether an individual has received the vaccine, has recently tested negative for the virus, or has "natural immunity" after testing positive in the previous six months.
It is also understood the NHS is working on ways of providing people with the means to demonstrate their Covid status though "digital and non-digital routes".
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Ministers believe the scheme will be the most useful in tightly-packed areas such as music festivals, nightclubs and sports matches – although certificates wouldn't be required in shops, pubs and restaurants or on public transport.
Trials are set to begin from April 16 at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, two days before another at the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Plans will also be outlined for a "traffic light" system for foreign travel, with countries given red, amber and green ratings based on Covid risks.
Mr Johnson said: “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.
“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.”