Individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus in the past six months may have natural immunity to Covid as part of a UK vaccination passport program.
Interim results of the government’s review of the domestic use of Covid status certification indicate that ministers believe that such a system could play an “important role domestically and abroad” as a temporary measure.
The task force review, led by Cabinet Minister Michael Gove, examines “which standards” should be required for so-called vaccination records when used domestically.
Mr Gove’s review, due to be completed this summer, initially indicated that vaccination records “may have a role to play in settings such as theaters, nightclubs, and mass events such as festivals or sporting events to aid risk management when large numbers of people are in brought together in the immediate vicinity ”.
According to an eight-page Downing Street newspaper, those who tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 180 days are entitled to access to a venue or event that requires Covid certification.
“The government assumes that Covid Status certification can be demonstrated by: a current vaccination status, negative lateral flow, or a PCR test performed on the same day or the day before admission to a venue at a test site or by demonstrating natural immunity, for example by prior positive PCR for a period of 180 days from the date of the positive test and after the end of the self-isolation period, ”the document says.
Those approaches will be tested by pilots from mass events in the coming weeks, the government said, which was unveiled over the weekend, including the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield and the culmination of the FA Cup final on May 15 at Wembley.
In the introduction to the initial results, the government said that 31 million people in the UK had received at least a single dose of the vaccine, but that mass vaccination “would not provide universal protection”.
“As a result, some action may be required after a vaccine has been offered to all adults to prevent a surge in hospital admissions that could not put sustained pressure on the NHS,” said Paper No. 10.
The paper said there is a need to establish common rules for applying restrictions based on people’s Covid status.
“Even without government intervention, Covid status certification is likely to become a feature of our lives until the pandemic threat subsides,” he added.
“In the UK, companies and other organizations can ask customers for proof of Covid status in order to gain access to their premises, provided they comply with equality laws.
“The government believes that, in most cases, imposing a ban would be an unjustified interference with the way companies keep their premises secure – although there may be exceptions, as outlined below, where the government must intervene to ensure equitable access to essential services.
“It is therefore right that the government provide a means of simply demonstrating Covid status to ensure that UK citizens and residents are not denied the opportunity to travel or attend certain venues or events.”
The document confirmed over the weekend the notification that a traffic light system would be introduced for international travel to allow international travel. However, it’s too early to explain whether overseas travel will be free to resume after May 17, according to the Global Travel Taskforce.
A study on whether the social distancing guidelines will continue after June 21, when all restrictions are to be lifted, depends on the results of the review of Mr Gove’s vaccination record, the document added.