UK Government Considering Vaccine Certificates To Help Reopen Economy
This was announced as the UK's Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, was setting out a four-step plan for the country to come out of lockdown and get back to some form of normality.
Vaccine certificates could help allow larger events and nightclubs to reopen - currently earmarked as step four of the easing plans on 21 June at the earliest.
The government added that it would seek external advice regarding privacy and security concerns before pressing forward with the proposal, along with assessing the potential socio-economic benefits of vaccine certificates.
It is believed the government will report before June whether the certificates will come into action.
The government's roadmap document reads: "Covid status certification involves using testing or vaccination data to confirm in different settings that people have a lower risk of transmitting Covid-19 to others.
"The Government will review whether Covid-status certification could play a role in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety. This will include assessing to what extent certification would be effective in reducing risk, and the potential uses to enable access to settings or a relaxation of Covid-Secure mitigations.
"The Government will also consider the ethical, equalities, privacy, legal and operational aspects of this approach and what limits, if any, should be placed on organisations using certification.
"It will draw on external advice to develop recommendations that take into account any social and economic impacts, and implications for disproportionately impacted groups and individuals' privacy and security.
"The Government will set out its conclusions in advance of Step 4 in order to inform the safe reopening of society and the economy."
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This comes after the PM revealed that pubs could reopen on 17 May at the earliest, with international travel also allowed on this date if all goes to plan.
Pubs and restaurants will open with no requirement for a substantial meal to be served alongside alcoholic drinks and no curfew.
The plan is for restrictions to be 'cautiously' lifted, with a minimum of five weeks between each step. Step One will begin from 8 March, when schools will open and people will be able to meet outdoors recreationally with one person from another household.
From 29 March, the rule of six will apply outdoors between two households and outdoor sport will return.
Staff, pupils and students in secondary schools, colleges and universities are advised to wear face coverings in all indoor areas where social distancing can't be maintained, as an extra precaution, including classrooms.
This will be reviewed at Easter. pic.twitter.com/9hkzdnEKiV
- Department for Education (@educationgovuk) February 22, 2021
Step Two will commence from 12 April at the earliest, at which point outdoor hospitality, gyms, libraries, all retail, and outdoor attractions can reopen.
Step Three will begin no earlier than 17 May and will allow groups of up to 30 to meet outdoors, cinemas to reopen and organised indoor sport to recommence. International travel will also be allowed.
Step Four will begin no earlier than 21 June, at which point there will be no legal limits on social contact, enabling nightclubs to reopen and large events to go ahead.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Johnson said: "The end really is in sight; and a wretched year will give way to a spring and a summer that will be very different and incomparably better than the picture we see around us today."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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