UK Govt to Roll Out ‘Vaccine Stamps’ in Passports by Next Year: Report

Passengers wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), including a face mask as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, arrive at Terminal 1 of Manchester Airport in northern England, on June 8, 2020, as the UK government's planned 14-day quarantine for international arrivals to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus begins. (Photo …
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

The British government is reportedly set to introduce vaccine stamps in passports by next year for those who have been inoculated against the Chinese coronavirus, ostensibly to boost the travel industry.

The vaccine stamps are being worked on by the Department for Transport (DfT), as airline bosses throughout the world look to make such restrictions mandatory for travelling.

A supporter of the passport stamps, Conservative MP James Sunderland, told The Telegraph: “Pets need a vaccination passport when travelling between the UK and Europe and this would be a fantastic way of ensuring freedom of movement for people too.”

“We must do everything possible to boost the economy by re-opening our travel, hospitality, leisure and business sectors and how fantastic would it be to have our planes, trains and boats full again.

“A vaccination stamp is simple, would save all the hassle at either end and really boost confidence.”

Government sources told the newspaper that Aviation Minister Robert Courts is “upbeat and supportive” of the idea. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said earlier this month that his transport secretary Grant Shapps was “looking at all such schemes”.

Some Airlines have already said they would require such stamps after the international rollout of vaccines, with the CEO of Australian airliner Qantas, Alan Joyce, saying last week that proof of inoculation would be a “necessity” to travel on the company’s aeroplanes.

Korean Air, the largest airline in South Korea, alongside New Zealand Air, has said that they may be forced to require vaccine stamps because governments may implement mandatory vaccines in exchange for reopening their borders to international travel.

The chief executive for the Irish budget airline Ryanair, Eddie Wilson, said that they are unlikely to require the stamps, however, saying that it is unfeasible to mandate such restrictions in Europe.

“With short-haul and freedom of movement of people in Europe… I think we’ll see an entirely different landscape come spring and early summer, not really relevant for short-haul and European travel,” Wilson said.

“In Paris, if you were to choose no vaccination… you’d just get a train instead,” he added.

The British government has already reportedly begun considering so-called “freedom passes” as a means of lifting lockdown restrictions. The plan would see those who test negative for the Chinese virus twice in a week being given a certificate on their phones, enabling them to see their families or travel without a mask within the UK.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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