“On the issue of vaccine certification, there's definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports,” Johnson said on Thursday. “You can see already that other countries, the aviation industry, are interested in those and there's a logic to that.”
The UK government is also currently undergoing a review to see whether Covid certification could be used to help reopen certain sectors of the economy.
“I think when it comes to trying to make sure that we give maximum confidence to business and to customers here in the UK, there are three things - there's your immunity, whether you have had it before, so you have got natural antibodies; whether you have been vaccinated; and then of course whether you have had a test,” Johnson added.
Vaccine passports ‘discriminatory’
However, over 70 MPs and peers have signed a pledge saying that they: “Oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs.”
Baroness Shami Chakrabarti, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, said: “It's one thing to have a passport to travel internationally, that is a privilege, even a luxury, but participation in local community life is a fundamental right.”
But Health Secretary Matt Hancock warned against ‘dismissing’ the possibility of Covid certifications being used to help reopen the UK. “Clearly we're going to need this sort of certification in some areas - like to go abroad because some other countries will require it.” He added: “I think dismissing something like this out of hand is the wrong thing to do. The right thing to do is to look in detail at how we can most safely open things up.”
Covid passports implemented further afield
Meanwhile, over in South Korea, the country is planning to issue Covid-19 vaccine passports to immunised citizens. “The introduction of a vaccine passport or ‘Green Pass’ will only allow those who have been vaccinated to experience the recovery to their daily lives,” Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in a government meeting, adding that the app uses blockchain technology to prevent counterfeit.
The International Air Transport Association has announced that its digital Travel Pass will launch on the Apple platform from mid-April, to be trialled by numerous airlines in the coming weeks, among them Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Rwandair, and Virgin Atlantic.