Covid passports won't be needed for the pub on Monday, vaccines minister confirms
We won't yet need official papers for a pint, but Covid passports are still a possibility
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 today, Vaccines Minister, Nadhim Zahawi, confirmed that while Covid passports will not be needed when non-essential shops and beers gardens open on Monday the 12th, it would be "remiss and irresponsible" not to consider Covid certification in order to fully reopen the economy.
Zahawi went on to say that "it's only right that we look at all these options that are available to us to take our lives back." Covid certification has been discussed as a possibility to accompany the easing of lockdown restrictions for some time now, and Boris has already confirmed that they will be a necessity for international travel.
However, Zahawi was keen to point out the distinction between this kind of documentation and any possible certification needed to go back to the pub, as well these would rely on test results as opposed to confirmation of a vaccine. He also said that he recognises there are "a number of ethical issues" surrounding this approach.
Covid passports are going to be trialled on the return of big British, sporting events, such as the FA Cup Final at Wembley, but for now the rule of six, social distancing is the bare minimum. Furthermore, it is believed they will not yet be needed for when indoor hospitality resumes from the 17th of May.
Indoor mixing is "highly likely" to lead to a resurgence in hospitalisations and deaths, according to Zahawi and the government's scientific advisers, hence why England's roadmap out of lockdown is broken down into stages that correlate with high-risk individuals and specific age groups have had their vaccines.
It is believed that the UK government want a "consistent approach" across devolved administrations and are continuing to carry out roadmap reviews, taking into account possibilities such as "COVID-Status Certification".
Nevertheless, the return to beer gardens and pubs proper, beyond that, is on the horizon and should, hopefully, be a fairly straightforward process. Track and trace, QR codes and temperature readings will all still be commonplace, but it'll be worth it for the first taste of that frosty pint.