Covid vaccine passport: When will Covid passports become policy amid pilot plans

Vaccine passports: Expert discusses 'schemes'

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Covid passports have emerged as a potential exit strategy for the Government, which plans on following its roadmap to normality in the summer. The Prime Minister hopes to test the passports, which have existed as rumour for the past year, via pilot studies. They will help prove whether or not the Government can conceivably return the UK’s pre-pandemic freedoms without encouraging another spike in infections.

When will Covid passports become policy?

Covid passports emerged as an idea in early 2020, not long after the first lockdown.

At the time, officials expected Covid patients to develop sufficient immunity after infection.

But research later found natural immunity is short-lived, and scientists hope vaccines can offer suitable coverage.

During its pilot studies, which will debut in a range of entertainment venues across the UK, the Government will seek to understand whether it can give spectating the green light.

Ministers have scheduled nine separate events in the UK to test the policy’s viability over the next two months.

Tests will draw significant crowds not seen since before the pandemic, up to 21,000 in some cases.

If proven effective, they will ultimately pave the way for a return to “normal” life.

The Government schedule works as follows:

April 16: Hot Water Comedy Club, Liverpool

April 18: FA Cup semi-final, Wembley Stadium, London

April 17-May 3: World Snooker, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

April 23-25: Luna Cinema, Liverpool

April 24-25: Fun runs with 3,000 participants, Hatfield House, Hatfield

April 25: Carabao Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London

April 28: ACC Business Event, Liverpool

April 30-May 1: Circus Nightclub, Liverpool

May 15: FA Cup Final, Wembley Stadium, London

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Officials will have compiled the data not long after each pilot has finished.

But early impressions expect passports won’t become policy for some months until after the project has concluded in May.

A “senior Government source” has told the Daily Telegraph Covid passports may not come into action until the autumn.

They said the documents, which people would likely install on their phones, would take “months, not weeks” to develop.

Another added: “I don’t expect it to be until much later in the year.”

People would be able to use the passports to access bars or clubs.

The predicted autumn completion date would come months after the Government has proposed to reopen the UK.

The roadmap points to June 23 as a reasonable date to repeal all restrictions, including social distancing.

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