The United Kingdom’s government has announced that it will not make COVID-19 passports a legal requirement for mass events.
Even though many European countries are introducing digital passports as the safest and most helpful way to restore the travel and tourism industry ahead of the summer season, authorities in the UK do not support such an initiative, VisaGuide.World reports.
According to some British officials working on the review of the Coronavirus status documents, there is no chance that the law will be amended to mandate their use within the UK.
A government spokesperson pointed out that the COVID-19 vaccine document review is still in process, stressing that no decision in this regard has yet been made, based on a Reuters report.
There have been concerns regarding the effectiveness of such certificates raised by the UK’s Conservative Party as well as civil rights groups and opposition lawmakers.
In addition, in April, a statement signed by a group of more than 70 lawmakers in the UK stressed that “We oppose the divisive and discriminatory use of COVID status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses, or jobs.”
Back then, Prime Minister Boris Johnson considered that the certificate would likely be needed for international travel.
However, now the Prime Minister is not entirely convinced regarding the ethical issues posed by the COVID-19 vaccine document.
Johnsons previously announced a review into COVID-19 status documents, indicating that they could be used in places such as pubs; however, an investigation initiated by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove later scrapped the idea of the certificates being required in hospitality settings or any other essential shop.
Besides, such certificates are unlikely to be launched ahead of June 21, when Britain’s majority of measures imposed to halt the spread of the virus are due to be scrapped.
The EU COVID travel certificates, designed to facilitate the travel process amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, are being launched by many European countries, even a month ahead of the deadline for its launching.
European countries such as Denmark, Czechia, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Croatia, and Poland have already implemented these documents, which by some governments are seen as the most helpful way to make the travel process easier within the block and help the travel and tourism industry recover from the damages provoked by the Coronavirus.
A previous report published by the World Travel and Tourism Industry (WTTC) revealed that the Coronavirus pandemic caused a £148 billion financial loss for the United Kingdom, leading to a 62.3 percent decrease in the contribution to the country’s GDP last year.
Besides, the pandemic left 307,000 people engaged in travel and tourism jobless and in a difficult situation in 2020.
According to the World Health Organization figures, more than 4,487,4300 persons have tested positive for the virus in Britain, and over 127,700 have died since the beginning of the outbreak.
The United Kingdom has among the fastest inoculation programs worldwide. Over 39.5 million Britons have already received the first dose of the vaccine, according to local media reports.