How will Covid vaccine passports work in the UK?

6 April 2021, 13:53

Covid vaccine passports in the UK will be following a trial period
Covid vaccine passports in the UK will be following a trial period. Picture: PA

By Zoe Adams

Will we need coronavirus vaccine passports or certificates for travel? And what about pubs and restaurants? Here’s how they could work in the UK and whether they’re compulsory.

Coronavirus vaccine passports are likely to be rolled out across the UK in a bid to help the country recover from the pandemic and help avoid a third wave of the virus.

In his latest statement to the public, Boris Johnson confirmed a version of a Covid vaccine passport is “likely to become a feature of our lives”.

So how exactly would a Covid vaccine passport work in the UK? Will we need vaccine passports for pubs and travelling abroad? And will they be compulsory?

Related article: Covid-19: How will the travel traffic light system work?

Related article: What is a Covid vaccine passport?

Here’s the latest on vaccine passports in England:

Vaccine passports for abroad are looking likely across the UK and Europe
Vaccine passports for abroad are looking likely across the UK and Europe. Picture: PA

How will Covid vaccine passports in the UK work?

Referring to them as ‘Covid-status certification’ Boris has confirmed this could allow people to return to multiple events while trying to avoid another surge in the virus.

So how will they work? Currently, those who have received their vaccination get a card as well as the details going on their medical records - the government are exploring ways to make this more accessible when out.

It’s not only vaccination cards that could work in your favour but also whether you’ve recently tested negative on a Covid test, or if you have natural immunity from the virus after contracting it in the previous six months.

By allowing a Covid passport, the hope is that social distancing can be reduced in places where it proves harder to maintain, such as sporting events, pubs, international travel and theatres.

Will I need a vaccine passport to travel abroad?

Currently, providing a negative test to travel for essential reasons is already required.

In Europe, many countries have confirmed plans of a “Green Digital certificate” to be shown when travelling. You will have this if you’ve been vaccinated, tested negative or recently had Covid.

It’s likely this will be in place by the summer, however, Boris Johnson is yet to confirm when abroad travel will be permitted again.

Pubs in England could ask for proof of Covid status as early as May 2021
Pubs in England could ask for proof of Covid status as early as May 2021. Picture: PA

Will I need a vaccine passport to go the pub?

Boris Johnson has confirmed the 12th April and 17th May lifting of lockdown restrictions will not need to prove you’ve had the vaccine.

However, it will be legal for a business to ask for customers for proof of Covid status if they want to.

What is the Covid vaccine passport start date and will they be compulsory?

The question over whether everyone will have to have a vaccine passport hasn’t officially be confirmed.

The government has said there are settings in which one will not be required, such as non-essential shops and public transport, and there will also be exemptions for those who are not advised to get a vaccine.

There is, however, backlash over the idea of compulsory passports.

There is also no official start date for vaccine passports in the UK as Boris Johnson works with Scotland and Wales to come up with a unified response.

However, as of 12th May, venues can legally ask for proof of your Covid status if they wish to.