Boris Johnson is to make plans to develop a ‘Covid Status Certification’ system to allow the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events as lockdown restrictions ease in England.
Officials are planning a series of test events over the next few months as they seek a way to reopen sites such as football fields and nightclubs without the need for social distancing.
The prime minister – who will give more details on Monday – said the government was doing “all we can” to allow mass events to return.
The move comes as the government announced that more than five million people in the UK have now received their second dose of the vaccine.
We have taken another important step in our immunization program with more than 5 million people who have now had their second vaccine.
I urge everyone to take their second dose as soon as they are offered it.
– Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 3, 2021
However, MPs will want to study the proposals closely, with many being deeply suspicious of anything that looks like a “vaccine passport” for home use.
More than 40 Tory MPs have publicly declared their opposition to the idea, and Johnson could struggle to push the plan through Parliament if they decide to oppose it.
When developing the program, officials will take three factors into account – whether an individual has received the vaccine, has recently tested negative for the virus, or has “natural immunity” after testing positive in the previous six months. .
The NHS is said to be currently working on ways to provide people with the means to demonstrate their Covid status through ‘digital, not digital routes’.
The review also examines how ventilation and entrance testing could facilitate the safe return of the public to mass events and closed venues.
Ministers believe the program will be most useful in managing risk when there are a large number of people nearby, such as music festivals, sports matches and nightclubs.
Areas where certification will not be required include essential stores and public transportation.
It will also not apply to businesses that are expected to reopen in the coming weeks, such as pubs, restaurants and non-essential businesses.
Officials are working with clinical and ethical experts to ensure there are “appropriate exemptions” for people for whom the vaccine is advised and for whom it would be difficult to repeat testing.
The first try is to take place on April 16 at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool, followed two days later by the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
Other events where the program is to be tested include the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield – from April 17 to May 3 – and a mass participation held at Hatfield House on April 24 and 25.
The drivers will culminate with the FA Cup final, still at Wembley, on May 15.
Johnson said: ‘We have made tremendous progress over the past few months with our vaccination program and everyone in the country has made huge sacrifices to get us to this point in our recovery from Covid-19.
“We are doing everything we can to allow our country to reopen so that people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role. to allow that to happen. ”
The Prime Minister will also outline the government’s approach to easing restrictions on overseas travel when its Global Travel Task Force reports on April 12.
The ministers have made it clear that the ban on foreign travel will remain in effect until at least May 17.
When finally lifted, it will be replaced by a risk-based “traffic light” system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world.
This will be based on a range of factors – including the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated, infection rates, new variants emerging, and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.
Travelers arriving from countries classified as “green” will not be required to self-isolate – although pre-departure and post-arrival testing is still required.
For those classified as “orange” or “red”, the restrictions will remain unchanged if arrivals will have to self-isolate or enter quarantine.
Officials have said it is still too early to predict which countries will be on which list and they continue to advise against booking summer vacations abroad.
Another social distancing review examines ways to enable closer contact between friends and families, enabling greater capacity of public transport and reducing distancing requirements within workplaces and workplaces.
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