UK Ministers at Odds Over Whether People May Need ‘Vaccine Passports’ to Use Services

December 1, 2020 Updated: December 1, 2020

People may need to prove they have been vaccinated against the CCP virus before they are allowed to enter restaurants or entertainment venues after the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, a British government minister said on Monday.

Nadhim Zahawi, who was named by Prime Minister Boris Johnson as the minister overseeing the deployment of CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus vaccines over the weekend, said the jabs will not be compulsory but people will come under pressure to get vaccinated.

He told BBC Radio 4’s “World at One” that the government is looking at the technology that will enable doctors and businesses to check if someone has got the vaccine, which may be similar to the NHS Test and Trace app.

“Restaurants, bars, cinemas and other venues, sports venues, will probably also use that system as they have done with the app,” he said.

This idea was corroborated by NHS Test and Trace head Baroness Dido Harding, who, at event organised by the Health Service Journal at the weekend, said she hoped “to be able to have a single record as a citizen of your test results and whether you’ve been vaccinated,” the Times of London reported.

However, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told Sky News on Tuesday morning that there were no plans to issue people with what has been dubbed a “vaccine passport”.

Nadhim Zahawi
Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi arrives in Downing Street in central London on Oct. 23, 2019. (Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP via Getty Images)

Zahawi said the government cannot compel people to get vaccinated, but will launch “a very strong campaign” to demonstrate the safety of the vaccines.

“I think it is right that it is voluntary,” he said. “People have to be allowed to be able to decide for themselves whether they want to be vaccinated or otherwise.

“But I think the very strong message that you will see—this is the way we return the whole country [to normal life]. And so it’s good for your family, it’s good for your community, it’s good for your country to be vaccinated, and ultimately people will have to make a decision.”

Zahawi added that it was incumbent upon social media platforms to be able to “fact check” information on vaccines.

“I want to make sure that the digital platforms—the Googles, the Facebooks, the Twitters of this world—that they are doing this work, because this is something that obviously doesn’t just concern the United Kingdom but the whole world,” he said.