University students could need to be double jabbed to stay in halls
Boris Johnson is said to be "pushing" the idea.
University students may need to be fully vaccinated in order to attend lectures and stay in halls this academic year.
It is reportedly the latest suggestion aimed at encouraging young people to get vaccinated against Covid-19. A senior government source told Sky News that they are not "ruling it out."
Meanwhile the prime minister's spokesman told a Westminster briefing for journalists: "We are still looking at the scope for vaccination certifications."
The Times reports that Boris Johnson is said to be "pushing" the idea of vaccine passports for universities, although there would still be some medical exemptions.
The Prime Minister is apparently "raging" at the low vaccine uptake among young people and wants to apply pressure on them to come forward and get the jab.
However, when asked if students would need to be fully vaccinated in order to enjoy a normal university experience, education minister Vicky Ford said: "No. We must make sure we continue to prioritise education."
But later on in the day, Ford appeared to contradict herself. She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the government would be looking at "every practicality to make sure that we can get students back safely and make sure that we can continue to prioritise education".
She also told Times Radio: "We don't want to go back to a situation where large parts of education were closed to many young people and children, and a key part of doing that is having that double-vaccinated population.
"So I think we need to continue to encourage our young people to step forward, have the vaccination, and that is the way that they can have that freedom and confidence that they'll be able to have that full university life."
Tory MP and chairman of the Education Select Committee, Robert Halfon, described the idea as "wrong-headed," whilst Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson MP accused ministers of trying to "antagonise young people into getting the jab" and said vaccine passports for universities would be "crossing a line."
The idea of vaccine passports has been suggested for nightclubs and large-scale sporting events, but this is the first time it has been discussed in an education context.