Coronavirus Certificates Could Be Needed for Work, Weddings, Theatres: Report

WREXHAM, WALES - NOVEMBER 30: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for a photograph with a vial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University COVID-19 candidate vaccine, known as AZD1222, at Wockhardt's pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on November 30, 2020 in Wrexham, Wales. The UK government announced a deal in August with global pharmaceutical …
Paul Ellis - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Britons may need “covid status certifications” in order to go to work, weddings, or other venues, according to reports on options being discussed by government ministers.

The system could employ the National Health Service (NHS) outbreak contact tracing app, with a QR code allowing a person to prove that they have either been vaccinated, have tested negative for coronavirus, or have the antibodies after recovering from the Chinese virus.

According to figures speaking to The Telegraph involved in a government review, led by senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove, the Johnson administration is considering a range of options and scenarios under which the Covid passes could be used.

One government source told the daily: “If we didn’t even consider this stuff we would be throwing away the advantage we’ve created for ourselves with the Covid vaccine rollout.

“This isn’t the first thing we would have reached for but we’ve had to do a lot of difficult things recently.”

The newspaper reports that large venues holding music festivals, sports stadiums, and wedding venues could be considered as locations where Britons would have to prove their “covid status”.

Employers may also demand them, with The Telegraph listing builders, cleaners, and electricians — the types of workers who go into other people’s homes or businesses — as those professionals who could be required to prove their status.

In the New Year, London plumbing mogul Charlie Mullins said he was in talks with his lawyers about drafting a “no vaccine, no job” clause in his contracts and job offers.

The report comes days after Prime Minister Boris Johnson suggested that pubs may ask for proof of immunity or withhold service, adding that “the basic concept of vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us”.

The remarks represent quite a change from Johnson’s fervently expressed previous position, found in a recently unearthed editorial in The Telegraph from 2004, that if he were ever asked “on the streets of London, or in any other venue, public or private, to produce my ID card” then he would “physically eat it in the presence of whatever emanation of the state has demanded that I produce it”.

Ministers are believed to be considering the measures in order to expedite the lifting of social distancing rules; however, one prominent lockdown sceptic speculates that “social control” measures like wearing masks and social distancing could go on for a decade, similar to how measures like rationing went on for nearly ten years after the end of the Second World War.

Former British Supreme Court judge Lord Sumption told the Sketch Notes podcast on Wednesday: “It’s politically unrealistic to expect the Government to backtrack now.

“An interesting parallel is the continuation of wartime food rationing after the last war. People were in favour of that because they were in favour of social control.

“In the 1951 general election, the Labour party lost its majority entirely because people with five years more experience of social control got fed up with it. Sooner or later that will happen in this country.”

When asked whether such controls could last as long, Lord Sumption said they could go on “even longer”.

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