Coronavirus health certificates will not be mandatory for entry to venues such as pubs, theatres, and stadiums, but individual businesses will be permitted to use them.
A Government review published on Monday did not rule out the possibility of making the use of so-called vaccine passports compulsory if England faces “a difficult situation in autumn or winter”.
The review found that while “there would be a public health benefit” it would currently be outweighed by the negatives, such as the burden on those who have not received two jabs.
Their mandatory use will instead be kept “under consideration”, while the go-ahead for the NHS app to demonstrate status was approved from Step 4 of the plans to ease lockdown, which is expected on July 19.
Covid certificates could still be introduced later despite a government report concluding that they would be “disproportionate” at present.
Michael Gove was tasked with leading a review into the domestic use of so-called vaccine passports in February, but Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that the government had decided not to currently mandate them in any setting.
However, the review confirmed that certification “might be introduced if cases surged again.”
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) warned the scheme could lead to people purposefully trying to catch Covid, fake test results or cause widespread unrest and discrimination.
Meanwhile, the behavioural team on SAGE found people given immunity certificates appeared more likely to go and mingle with others and risk fuelling Covid’s spread. SPI-B warned that some people would purposefully go and catch the virus to get their papers.
It also said that making the documents mandatory would penalise ethnic minorities, who are less likely to get tested or apply for official documents due to a deep-rooted distrust in Government.
SPI-B highlighted its concerns about the scheme in an undated paper published. The group said that offering access to settings and activities by showing proof of previous infection may ‘lead to deliberate exposure to infection’.
It warned that people may also deliberately stop social distancing and handwashing if the incentive is to prove they have had Covid and cannot afford to pay for a test.
The group also highlighted that the scheme could lead to unrest. ‘Certification is likely to be unwelcome if it restricts access to goods, services and places regarded as essential or accessible as a matter of right,’ SPI-B said.
‘Any form of certification that restricts people from behaviours or access to places which they use habitually or which they regard it as their right to enter is likely to provoke resistance.’
It added: ‘Certification will inevitably present opportunities for various sorts of crime, especially fraud.’
It did not rule out their later use to prevent closures to the economy and restrictions on social lives being re-imposed if the coronavirus situation drastically worsens.
“It is possible that certification could provide a means of keeping events going and businesses open if the country is facing a difficult situation in autumn or winter,” the report said.
“Therefore, the government will keep the wider application of certification under consideration.”
The report said that the government would “continue to assess the findings” from its events.
“The Government believes that to ban certification in domestic settings would, in most cases, be an unjustified intrusion on how organisations choose to make their premises safe,” the review said.
“Essential settings should not use certification, but others can decide to use it at their own discretion in compliance with legal obligations.”
From now on Covid Passports are expected to be needed for all international travel because they will be required by other countries. however, this move is illegal.
Boris Johnson also said that from July 5th firms would be able to “voluntarily” use the scheme to admit customers to their venues if they wished to do so.
Private software firms are also developing Covid apps that could be used by companies to monitor the status of their employees. The NHS App can also be used as a free Covid Passport for any firms that wish to do so.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS
✔️The good: @BorisJohnson confirms that the Government will NOT make Covid Passes compulsory. This is a huge breakthrough! 🎉
❌The bad: Businesses are free to require Covid Passes via the NHS app if they want to. We'll boycott them… 🪧 pic.twitter.com/1fal4DHYCM
— Big Brother Watch (@BigBrotherWatch) July 5, 2021
‘There will be no Covid certificate required as a condition of entry to any venue or event although businesses and events can certainly make use of certification and the NHS app gives a Covid pass as one way of showing your Covid status.’ – Boris Johnson
The long-awaited Gove review has been published on UK vaccine passports. Headline: vaccine passports for domestic use will not be mandated in the UK.
The key take away is: “Having considered a wide range of evidence as part of the review, the Government has concluded that it will not mandate the use of COVID-status certification as a condition of entry for visitors to any setting at the present time.”
Meanwhile the Premier League is pushing ahead with their plans for a Covid-certification scheme for fans to guarantee games can be held with capacity crowds.
Under proposals being developed in consultation with the government’s Events Research Programme supporters will need to produce a Covid Status Certificate – evidence of two vaccinations or a negative lateral flow test – to attend all matches in the top flight next season.
Vaccine passports have been heavily criticised by privacy campaigners and businesses who said any such scheme would be difficult to implement.
Earlier this year, a petition by David Nolan of Stop Common Pass, against any planned vaccine passport scheme gathered more than 350,000+ signatures on the Government’s website and was debated in the House of Commons in March.
Even the Government’s argument for vaccine passports for international travel is weak. There is no global legally binding agreement on COVID-19 vaccination or testing as a ‘Condition of Entry’ into nations and the evidence is below.
Meanwhile the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change today released a new White paper, the timing of this is critical, less than 24 hours since Boris Johnson’s grand reopening speech. Did they happen to have this ready to go?
Tony Blair suggests that “Mandating the use of the NHS COVID Pass at large events and during periods of high caseloads could bring significant economic benefits.”
And that “Mandatory use of the NHS COVID Pass in all settings affected by step 4 could save lives both by encouraging vaccine uptake among the hesitant and limiting the contact of unvaccinated or Covid-positive people at times when case numbers are high.”
And “With the NHS COVID Pass now up and running, we have the technology to individualise restrictions at moments when the virus is spreading fast. And doing so could save thousands of lives while allowing the remaining restricted parts of the economy to reopen with confidence.”
Will the Goverment implement this advice? its very likely.
🔴 Yesterday's announcement on #vaccinepassports was not a 'win', although it is some progress.
We must remain vigilant. https://t.co/XQfYVqFYOD
— STOPCOMMONPASS ❌ (@org_scp) July 6, 2021
There were also six other very important documents which were withheld from the public. These documents were only released last night and many thanks to the finding work of @LutherBurgsvik:
The Government have published a SAGE paper from 22 April 2021 that briefly discusses the possible benefits of immunity certification:
The Government have published a SAGE paper from 4 February 2021 titled: ‘NERVTAG: Immunity certification update’.
The Government have just published a SAGE document from 9 December 2020 titled: ‘Academics: Ethics of certification – briefing paper’.
The Government have just published a SAGE document from 26 November 2020 titled: ‘SPI-B: Behavioural considerations of health certificates in population mass testing’.
The Government have just published a SAGE document from 9 December 2020 titled: ‘NERVTAG: Immunity certification’.
The Government have just published a SAGE document from 9 December 2020 titled: ‘SPI-B: Health status certification in relation to COVID-19, behavioural and social considerations’.
Domestically we win for now, but how long for?
There is certainly a plan in place and that “All the latest measures are aimed at two things, vaccine passports and lockdowns starting next winter 2022.” And that “The ultimate goal is to have the public, back in their box.”
I will continue to investigate what I believe is a global digital roadmap to the establishment of a digital identity for every citizen in the world under the guise of Covid.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty”.