Vaccine passports launch TODAY in move to open up capacity crowds at Wimbledon & Euros – and eventually foreign holidays06/16/2021
BRITS can download vaccine passports from today as part of plans to unlock capacity crowds at major sporting events – and eventually foreign holidays.
A new "NHS Covid Pass" has now been made available on mobile phones and allows people to provide proof they've been fully vaccinated.
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Those who have yet to receive the jab can also upload evidence of a recent negative test or antibodies from having the virus in the past six months.
The NHS app has been modified to make create the groundbreaking new digital documents, which could be used to enter mass events in future.
It will first be deployed at major pilot events including the Wimbledon tennis championships and Euro 2020 football games.
A Whitehall source told the Mail: 'The fans make some of our greatest sporting moments truly special.
"Using the NHS Covid Pass will help us to safely unlock capacity crowds at the Euros and Wimbledon and hopefully deliver a fantastic summer of sporting success."
For now the pass will only be available to those who have tickets to the test events, who will be sent a special code to download it.
But if the trials are successful it could be rolled out to the wider public in the near future.
Under the scheme those who haven't been double-jabbed will be able to do a lateral flow test at home and log their result on the app.
Stewards at the ground will then carry out random spot checks on some spectators to make sure they're negative.
It is thought such technology could also be used later this summer to unlock foreign holidays to places including Europe.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is currently leading a review into the use of vaccine passports domestically.
He had been due to report back this week, but now has until mid-July after Freedom Day was pushed back by a month.
It is understood he has come down against using such Covid passes on a large scale at home, though they will be needed for international travel.
Boris Johnson has repeatedly said people won't need to provide proof of a jab to go to the pub.
But it remains a possibility that venues will be able to insist on their guests presenting a vaccine passport if they wish.
Tony Blair has said double-jabbed Brits should be able to use such passes to access "vaccine only" pubs and restaurants.
The former PM is calling for those who have had both doses to be treated differently from those who haven't.
He said insisted that "it makes no sense at all to treat those who have had vaccination the same as those who haven't".
Asked whether the passport plan would create a "discriminatory" two-tier society, Mr Blair said: "I think the word discrimination has a very loaded meaning in the English language now but really when it comes to risk management, it is all about discrimination."
"The reason we vaccinate elderly people first is because they're more at risk.
"Since everybody's going to be able to get the vaccination, then I think it really is important that people are encouraged to get vaccinations.
"We also make suggestions as to how you can get proper proof of vaccinations."
His think tank, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change argues "vaccine status matters" and that health passes can "allow citizens to prove their status in a secure, privacy-preserving way".
In a report titled “Less Risk, More Freedom” it said to date, measures intended to reduce the spread of disease have treated populations as largely homogenous groups.
As a result, restrictions – such as national lockdowns, regional-tier systems and entire schools closed following outbreaks – have been blunt instruments.
It says that if a health pass system was used at home and abroad, "we can move beyond blunt, catch-all tools and align with other countries by removing certain restrictions for the fully vaccinated, thereby enabling us to sustainably reopen the economy".
"For as long as the world goes largely unvaccinated and the risk of a new variant remains significant, it's vital that we have an alternative to the blunt tool of lockdowns to enable the country to live freely and safely."
The 68-year-old, who served as PM from 1997 to 2007, made it clear that this would involve discriminating between the vaccinated and unvaccinated, adding: "Other than for medical reasons, people should be vaccinated."
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