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24 February 2021, 10:45
The NHS Covid-19 app could be made into vaccine passports to prove if people have had the jab or have a negative test result.
The government is reportedly considering allowing businesses to demand to see people’s NHS Covid app to ensure staff and customers are at low risk of being infectious.
Michael Gove will lead a review into how coronavirus vaccine passports could potentially work, after ministers previously deemed them discriminatory.
Downing Street wants people to have the option of showing either their vaccination status or the results of a Covid test.
In this way, it wouldn’t penalise people who are unable to be vaccinated due to health reasons.
Speaking about the concept during a visit to a south London school on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had “never thought in terms of having something that you have to show to go to a pub or a theatre".
He added there were "ethical issues" about the role of government "in mandating… or banning people from doing such a thing".
The review’s findings are set to be available before the final stage of lifting England’s national lockdown on 21 June.
At the moment the NHS app is being used as part of the Test and Trace system, identifying whether people have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive and therefore need to isolate.
It also alerts people to the coronavirus risk in their postcode district and allows people to input symptoms to see if they need to order a coronavirus test.