More than 260,000 people have signed a petition on the UK’s Parliament’s website opposing ‘e-vaccination status/immunity passports’ to access certain businesses and services in the UK.
It would be recalled that last week the European Commission suggested a “digital green pass” which would allow summer holidays to go ahead by letting inoculated people travel freely around the bloc.
The petition, set up by David Nolan, said: “We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.
If they were introduced, a vaccine passport would provide proof a person had been vaccinated and might mean they could freely travel abroad or attend large events such as music festivals.
While it is not mandatory for people to take the vaccine when offered, it is strongly encouraged.
However, the petition states passports ‘would be unacceptable’ because they would have an effect on what people who refuse to have the vaccine can do.
Cabinet Office Michael Gove is currently in charge of looking at the scheme, which could also lead to the NHS Covid-19 app being updated to include proof of vaccination.
Human rights group Liberty has also expressed concerns about the vaccine passports, and head of policy and campaigns Sam Grant told BBC News they could ‘create a two-tier society where some people can access support and freedoms, while others are shut out – with the most marginalised among us hardest hit’.
He added: “The road out of lockdown can’t ride roughshod over our rights.
“That’s why we need the Coronavirus Act to be repealed, and replaced with strategies that provide support to help people to follow health guidance.
“That means rejecting proposals like immunity passports which are based on exclusion and division. Instead, we must work to bridge divides with strategies that protect everyone.”
Meanwhile, the UK government has fixed March 15, 2021 for the matter to be debated at the parliament.
The Cabinet Office said: “The Government is reviewing whether COVID-status certificates could play a role in reopening parts of our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety.
The Government is reviewing whether COVID-status certificates could play a role in reopening parts of our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety.