What is far more concerning is the call for vaccine passports for domestic use – for access to services and entertainment, for instance. And it’s not difficult to see how the development of an external vaccine passport for getting on a plane could be repurposed for this quite easily.
The government had initially promised not to introduce vaccine passports. ‘We are not planning to have a passport in the UK’, insisted vaccines minister Nadim Zahawi earlier this month. ‘That’s not how we do things’, he said. No doubt the government was also worried that if people had the impression they were being coerced into taking the vaccine, this would undermine trust.
But something seems to have changed since. At the weekend, foreign secretary Dominic Raab said a vaccine-passport scheme, which would grant access to hospitality venues and events, was ‘under consideration’ and had not been ruled out.