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UK Government Outlines Plans For Covid Certification Programme

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UK Government Outlines Plans For Covid Certification Programme

Boris Johnson has outlined plans for the Covid-status certification system - or 'Covid passports' - which could come into play later this year.

The Government has said the system will be developed over the coming months and could help higher-risk places to be opened up more safely while allowing more people to attend.

The Prime Minister confirmed Covid-status certification would not be introduced during step two (from 12 April) or step three (from 17 May).

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Covid-status certificates will take into account three factors - vaccination, a recent negative test or natural immunity.

Natural immunity will be determined on the basis of a positive test taken in the previous 180 days, after completion of the self-isolation period.

Alternatively, a negative result from a lateral flow or PCR test taken on the same day or the day before a person's admission to a venue or event would be required.

Pilot events are set to take place from the middle of this month to explore different approaches to social distancing, ventilation, test-on-entry protocols and Covid-status certification.

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These pilots will initially check Covid status through testing alone, but later pilot events will look at vaccination and acquired immunity as ways to show your Covid status.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The Government has said the pilot programme will 'be run across a range of venue and activity types including the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield and the Circus nightclub in Liverpool with the aim of admitting a crowd of up to 20,000 to Wembley for the FA Cup Final on 15 May'.

The list of events in the first phase of the pilots includes:

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  • FA Cup Semi Final, Wembley Stadium (18 April)
  • World Snooker Championship, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield (17 April - 3 May)
  • Luna Cinema, Liverpool (23-25 April)
  • Mass participation run, Hatfield House, Hatfield (24-25 April)
  • Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (25 April)
  • ACC Business Event, Liverpool (28 April)
  • Circus Nightclub, Liverpool (30 April - 1 May)
  • FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium (15 May)

Speaking during the press conference, Johnson said: "As part of our roadmap we're also publishing today on gov.uk the early thinking on our four reviews, on the safe return of major events, on social distancing, the potential role of Covid-status certification, and on the resumption of international travel.

"We set out our roadmap and we're sticking to it.

"And I want to stress, that we see nothing in the present data that makes us think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap.

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"But it is by being cautious, by monitoring the data at every stage and by following the rules - remembering hands, face, space and fresh air - that we hope together to make this roadmap to freedom irreversible."

Elsewhere, Johnson confirmed that outdoor hospitality, non-essential shops, gyms, personal care and other outdoor settings such as zoos and drive-in cinemas, are all reopening next Monday (12 April).

To reopen the Government looked to confirm that four tests had been met:

  1. The vaccine roll out programme was running successfully
  2. Evidence shows vaccines are effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths
  3. Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisation
  4. The assessment of the risks is not 'fundamentally changed by new Variants of Concern'
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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to the roadmap released earlier this year, it takes around four weeks to see the impact of the previous step.

This means that step three, in which indoor hospitality can reopen, will happen no sooner than 17 May.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, Politics

Claire Reid
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