The British government’s plan to introduce COVID-status certification has met with resistance from lawmakers from across the political spectrum.
The government said it believes that “COVID-status certification could have an important role to play both domestically and internationally” to “allow some freedoms to be restored more safely.”
The COVID Recovery Group (CRG), a group of Tory MPs who are sceptical about COVID-19 lockdown measures, said that “Parliament must give approval” if the government wants to introduce COVID certificates.
“Trying to do it by the back door by linking them to social distancing rules isn’t on,” CRG chair Mark Harper wrote on Twitter.
The Liberal Democrats also reiterated their opposition to the idea.
Jonathan Ashworth, shadow health secretary for the main opposition Labour party, said he would not support such certificates for everyday activities.
Minister for Vaccine Deployment Nadhim Zahawi defended the idea, saying: “It's only responsible as we see how this virus behaves, as we see how other countries are utilising technology to make sure that they keep the virus under control, then we should look at the same thing."
The government said in the review that other countries are already developing their own certification systems, such as Israel’s “Green Pass” and the European Union’s “digital green certificate.”
Zahawi told Sky News that any scheme would be designed not to be discriminatory, suggesting it would involve data on COVID-19 tests, not just vaccines. But he added no decision had been taken, and lawmakers would get a vote on any plans.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of backbench Conservative MPs, called COVID-19 certification “divisive and discriminatory.”
“This could prevent millions of young people visiting the pub for months, unless they get themselves tested in advance,” they said.