The UK government is looking at ways to enforce mass vaccination by requiring a vaccination passport even to gain access to event venues, stores, and pubs, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday, Feb. 14.
In an interview with LBC radio, Raab said the government is considering implementing a national plan to allow greater freedoms to those who can prove they have been vaccinated. “It’s under consideration, but, of course, you have to make it workable,” he said.
“I’m not sure there’s a foolproof answer in the way it’s sometimes presented, but, of course, we will look at all the options,” Raab added.
Once Raab was asked about the need for people to eventually need a vaccination passport even to go to the supermarket, he said, “Well, it is something that hasn’t been ruled out and it’s under consideration, but of course you’ve got to make it workable.”
Months earlier Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove told Sky News that there were no plans to implement the vaccination passport. “I’m certainly not planning to issue vaccination passports and I don’t know anyone else in government who is,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Raab’s statements came after Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said any national “passporting” scheme to allow Britons access to certain businesses would be “discriminatory.”
Zahawi said the idea was not under scrutiny and added, “Vaccines are not mandated in this country. … We yet don’t know what the impact of vaccines on transmission is. And it would be discriminatory,” according to The Mirror.
According to a senior government source, they have been “very cautious about this idea that if you don’t have a passport therefore somehow your liberties are curtailed. As Conservatives we should be instinctively concerned about that.”
Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has kept up the pressure for a standardized vaccination passport to be implemented in the UK. Blair wrote in a Daily Mail article on Feb. 13, “We should plan for an agreed ‘passport’ now. The arguments against it really don’t add up.”
“With my team at the Institute for Global Change, I have looked at this from every angle and come to this conclusion: There is no prospect of a return to anything like normal without enabling people to show their Covid status, whether that means they have been vaccinated or recently tested,” Blair added.
The former prime minister also revealed that he was working with the World Economic Forum on its Common Pass initiative, a COVID passport scheme driven by a coalition of Big Tech that has received funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.
Secretary of State for Health and Care Mat Hancock told Sky News that the UK government was working with other countries on an internationally recognized application or certificate for the vaccination passport.
Plans were unveiled last week by the UK Transport secretary, along with other world officials, for the introduction of an “internationally recognized” vaccination passport to check travelers who have been vaccinated.
“When it comes to international travel, I imagine that in the future there will be an international system where countries will want to know that you’ve been potentially vaccinated or potentially had tests taken before flying,” Transport Minister Grant Shapps told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.