Minister gives update on Covid vaccination passport usage

Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said the introduction of Covid-19 coronavirus status certification in the UK – informally known as vaccine passports – could help “economic and social life return … faster”.

However, Mr Gove also said there is no “iron” link between the June 21 date, which is slated for the next stage of the roadmap outside the lockdown, and the possible introduction of Covid status certification.

Currently, people in England can use the NHS app to prove their covid vaccine status.

Mr. Gove, who conducts an effectiveness review of certificates for people who have been encountered or tested negative for coronavirus, told the Commons Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, “We have examined every stage where impact certification may or may not be present could not have on the economy.

“In a nutshell, if we want to see the restoration of Premier League football, which I certainly do, then we want to, and in fact Premier League teams would also like to have their stadiums full to their maximum Capacity.

“Certification can play a role if the alternative is, for example, social distancing and other forms of restrictions, such as social distancing. B. Crowd capacity constraints to continue.

“With that in mind, and this is just one example, using certification and investing in this infrastructure would allow the country’s economic and social life to return faster and more safely.”

Mr Gove said there was a “frictional cost” associated with certification as testing would have to continue for those who had not been vaccinated.

When asked how well balanced he thought the costs and benefits of such a system were, he replied: “Well balanced.”

The advantages of the Covid status certification – so-called domestic “vaccination passports” – would have to be weighed against the “annoyance factor” of its implementation.

The UK has been investigating Israel’s “Green Pass” model, which was recently suspended due to the high uptake of vaccinations in the country.

Mr Gove told the Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs that the introduction of a similar system in the UK was “always on purpose”, “for a limited period of time”.

A review of the possible use of Covid status certification, which includes not only details about the vaccine but also whether someone has a negative test result, should be reported this month. However, this review was postponed until after the Commons returned from a hiatus in the week of June 7th.

Mr. Gove said there were “some important pre-eminent factors” to consider.

He said the possible introduction of the passes would not be linked to the next stage of the timetable until June 21 at the earliest.

Mr Gove said there was no “iron” connection between the June 21 date, which is slated for the next stage of the roadmap outside of lockdown, and the possible introduction of Covid status certification.

The cabinet minister told MPs: “People rightly linked the Covid status certification to the fourth stage. There is no absolutely necessary inviolable connection between the two.

“But of course, if we are thinking about reopening in the fourth phase, people will understandably want to know what our approach to certification will be and how it will work.”

Mr Gove said the advantages of a system must be weighed against the disadvantages.

“You can never make a place or activity completely safe and … even two doses of the vaccine doesn’t automatically vaccinate someone completely against the risk of infection, transmission or even disease.

“This drastically reduces the risk. When people can be trusted to have been vaccinated or otherwise immune at a venue, or have recently received a valid test confirming their negative status, you can know that that venue is safer.

“On the other hand, of course, there must be the question of the costs and indeed of the … annoyance factor that the certification brings with it, so there must always be a balance between the two.”

Mr Gove also said there is no “iron” connection between the June 21 date, which is slated for the next stage of the roadmap outside the lockdown, and the possible introduction of Covid status certification.

The cabinet minister told MPs: “People rightly linked the Covid status certification to the fourth stage. There is no absolutely necessary inviolable connection between the two.

“But of course, if we are thinking about reopening in the fourth phase, people will understandably want to know what our approach to certification will be and how it will work.”

Mr Gove said the advantages of a system must be weighed against the disadvantages.

“You can never make a place or activity completely safe and … even two doses of the vaccine doesn’t automatically vaccinate someone completely against the risk of infection, transmission or even disease.

“This drastically reduces the risk. When people can be trusted to have been vaccinated or otherwise immune at a venue, or have recently received a valid test confirming their negative status, you can know that that venue is safer.

“On the other hand, of course, there must be the question of the costs and indeed of the … annoyance factor that the certification brings with it, so there must always be a balance between the two.”

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