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No plans for vaccine passport, says Gove

By Ella Pickover, PA Health Correspondent

The UK Government is not proposing to bring in a “vaccine passport” for people who have had a Covid-19 jab, Michael Gove has said.

The Cabinet Office minister said there are no plans for a so-called immunity passport for access to hospitality and entertainment venues once coronavirus jabs are introduced.

It comes less than a day after the new vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said jabs will not be compulsory – but that hospitality and entertainment venues might insist on seeing proof that customers have had one.

Asked if there would be a vaccine passport, Mr Gove told Sky News: “No, that’s not being planned.

“I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports and I don’t know anyone else in Government (who is)…”

He added: “I think the most important thing to do is make sure that we vaccinate as many people as possible.”

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mr Gove said: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, that’s not the plan.

“What we want to do is to make sure that we can get vaccines effectively rolled out.”

He added: “Of course, individual businesses have the capacity to make decisions about who they will admit and why.

“But the most important thing that we should be doing at this stage is concentrating on making sure the vaccine is rolled out.”

On Monday, Mr Zahawi was asked whether people who get the Covid-19 jab will receive some kind of “immunity passport” to show they have been vaccinated.

He told the BBC: “We are looking at the technology. And, of course, a way of people being able to inform their GP that they have been vaccinated.

“But, also, I think you’ll probably find that restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues, sports venues, will probably also use that system – as they have done with the app.

“I think that, in many ways, the pressure will come from both ways, from service providers who’ll say ‘Look, demonstrate to us that you have been vaccinated’, but also we will make the technology as easy and accessible as possible.”

But on Covid-19 vaccines, he added: “I think it is right that it is voluntary.

“People have to be allowed to decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated or otherwise.”