Matt Hancock tells LBC Government will review use of vaccine passports

23 February 2021, 08:29 | Updated: 23 February 2021, 08:42

By Megan White

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told LBC that the Government will review the use of vaccine passports as lockdown restrictions are lifted in England.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, the Health Secretary said there are "some areas where we know it is going to be needed to have this certificate to show whether or not you’ve been vaccinated," such as entering countries which require a certificate.

He said there will be a review into the use of the passports in a domestic setting, adding that there are "wider ethical questions about the use of this certification" and that there are "some things where that might be okay, but there’s some areas where it definitely wouldn’t."

Read more: Boris Johnson hails 'one way road to freedom' after announcing lockdown relaxations

Mr Hancock told LBC: “There are some areas where we know it is going to be needed to have this certificate to show whether or not you’ve been vaccinated.

“For instance, international travel to some countries – if another country says you can’t come in unless you have the jab, then we want Brits to be able to demonstrate that.

“But then there’s wider ethical questions about the use of this certification.

“There’s some things where that might be okay, but there’s some areas where it definitely wouldn’t, so we’re going to have a review of that, consider all of the details, the ethics, which is very very important and challenging, and then come forward with a considered view.

“What we know is that we shouldn’t do this now, because only – I say only, I’m very proud of the fact a third of the country have had their first jab – but that is still only a third of all adults.”

Asked where vaccine passports would not be okay, Mr Hancock said: “There are some services in this country that are universal, that are there for everyone in all circumstances, and we have taken a decision not to mandate having this vaccine, and so I don’t want to fetter that review any further than saying that.”

He added: “The health service is one example of a universal service, going to A&E.

“At the other end of the spectrum, we know there are some other countries that are proposing that they will require a jab for entry.

“So if you take those two ends of the spectrum, there’s everything inbetween, and that’s what the review will look into.”

Mr Hancock said the Government is also reviewing whether Brits will be able to go abroad this summer, but added: "The challenge here is all about these new variants and the impact of the vaccine on the new variants, which we don't know enough about yet.

"We know that the vaccine saves lives, it is saving lives right now in this country, but that's all against the so-called Kent variant, which is now the vast majority of cases in this country.

"We know that it works against that but we don't know about some of the variants internationally, that's why we need to be cautious there."