A phone app could double as a virtual Covid passport so the user can gain entry to pubs, clubs, and restaurants.
According to reports in the Daily Mail, the UK Government is looking at plans to allow drinkers to use their phone to prove they had been vaccinated, had a recent negative test, or an antibody test.
These allow users to prove immunity from the virus and will let them into pubs and restaurants if the Covid passport scheme is introduced.
It is thought that the certificate would probably feature a scannable QR code.
An existing NHS app that gives patients access to parts of their medical records could be repurposed to become a Covid passport.
Venues taking part would be allowed to drop all rules on social distancing if they sign up to the scheme.
These plans are being looked at by Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove as the government looks at how they can safely reopen the economy quicker
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday that they would look to set out further details on this in the next three weeks.
He added: “I do think there is going to be a role for certification.”
Some hospitality bosses criticised the idea, calling it “unworkable, costly and discriminatory.”
How would the scheme work?
Pub and restaurant owners could be allowed to deny entry to any customers who could not prove that they had been vaccinated.
An app could be used, with people being able to access their Covid vaccination status or results of virus or antibody tests.
It would generate a digital certificate that could be presented at venues.
This would likely include a QR code that staff could scan to verify it was genuine, along with a picture of the person’s place.
Those without the app would be able to request a paper certificate.
The government is yet to decide details, such as how often someone who has not had the vaccine would need to be tested before getting a Covid certificate.
Under one option, a negative test result would be valid for as little as 24 hours, meaning daily testing for those who wanted to go out regularly.
The certificates could also be required to attend mass events, like concerts and sports matches.
Mr Johnson insisted yesterday that “no decisions have been taken at all” and that the scheme may not be rolled out until every adult has been offered at least one jab.
How will this affect Scotland
The Scottish Government was asked about Covid passports but a spokesman was unable to comment because of purdah restrictions ahead of the election in May.
However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously spoken about this issue during a discussion at Holyrood.
She said that “we should not close our minds totally” to vaccine passports.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Yellow fever certificates exist for travel to some countries, and there may well be scope for vaccination giving people the ability to do certain things that, without vaccination, they might not be able to do.
“Suffice it to say that, yes, we should think properly, without closing our minds at this stage, about what a vaccine passport or certificate might offer us, but I would never support something that deepened social inequalities, put barriers in the way of people accessing public services or took away people’s civil liberties.”