Thank you for contacting about COVID-status certification and vaccine passports.
As we learn to live with this virus, some of life’s most important pleasures and opportunities are likely to be increasingly dependent on vaccination.
For example, there are already countries that require you to be double jabbed as a condition of quarantine free travel and that list seems likely to grow as more countries catch up to our successful vaccination programme.
As we have opened up our economy and society from 19 July, ministers are concerned – as people have been in other countries – by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs and other crowded venues.
I do not want to see nightclubs closed again - as they have elsewhere - but it does means that these settings need to do the socially responsible thing. So for now the Government is asking settings to make use of the NHS Covid Pass which shows proof of vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity – as a means of entry.
While this is not currently mandatory the Government had previously said that it reserved the right to mandate certification at any point, if it was necessary to reduce transmission, and indeed it has now said that by the end of September - when all over 18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed – it is planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
I understand that the Government is developing a means for individuals to demonstrate clinical exemption status. This includes people who have participated in a formally-approved vaccine trail in the UK, including those who are blinded or may have received a placebo, as well as people for whom a clinician has recommended a vaccine deferral or indicated that vaccination is not appropriate and where testing is also not recommended on clinical grounds. The Government has also recommended that children under the age of 18 be exempt from demonstrating Covid status because vaccination is not recommended for this age group
This is about protecting people in those settings where the virus is most likely to spread, and vaccines are the best possible way to do this.
We all want this country to be able to enjoy the fruits of our massive vaccination campaign. But to do that we must all remain cautious and we must continue to get vaccinated.