Vaccine passports will pave the way for international travel, says Cabinet minister.
According to the Transport Secretary, vaccine certificates could allow for international holidays to take place one again. Grant Shapps announced earlier today (February 10) that discussions of an international system that would allow vaccinated individuals to travel freely have already begun. These talks have also extended to other governments including the United States, Singapore, and the United Nations, which could result in a universal ‘certificate’ that confirms your vaccination history.
There has been news of vaccine passport trials circulating, however this is the first time the UK government has publicly addressed the initiative. Shapps highlighted that in order to prevent any confusion, the popular term ‘vaccine passports’ will not be adopted by the government. While the details of these prospective vaccine certificates have not yet been finalised, it has been revealed that no one will be forced to have one, nor will they be mandatory to travel within the UK.
In an interview with BBC Radio Four, Shapps said “Just as we have things like the yellow fever card…I imagine that in the future there’ll be an international system where countries will want to know that you’ve been potentially vaccinated or had tests taken before flying, before you come in.” While the Cabinet minister gave no indication as to if or when these vaccine certificates will come into play, he used the opportunity to emphasize that holidays are still completely out of the question. He said “People shouldn’t be booking holidays right now – not domestically or internationally.”
A review is scheduled for February 22, where Boris Johnson will reveal his roadmap out of lockdown for England. This will include dates for when schools, non-essential shops, and restaurants can re-open, as well as information on travel restrictions and hopefully these vaccine certificates.