In the United Kingdom, plans are increasingly being made to provide Britons with so-called vaccine stamps in passports.
With internationally recognized vaccine stamps in their passports, vaccinated British travellers and holidaymakers should be able to freely travel to other countries. According to The Telegraph, plans are currently being worked out by the U.K. Department of Transport. They could be introduced next year once international travel starts to pick up again. It is not clear as of yet what the UK government views are on vaccination certificates of international travelers entering the UK , and whether they should be made compulsory.
Applauding the plan is Conservative MP James Sunderland, who earlier raised the benefits of vaccine passports to Prime Minister Johnson. Sunderland encourages the recent developments, saying that the plan for vaccine stamps in passports is a “fantastic way” to allow people to travel freely.
It is not yet a given that vaccine stamps in passports will actually be issued. British vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi told The Sun, among others, that technology for implementing such a plan is currently being looked at. He stressed that branches other than travel, such as restaurants, bars, cinemas and sports venues might also be interested.
However, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has told the BBC that “vaccine passports” are not “the plan”. This is in direct response to Nadhiml Zahawi’s statements, and once again highlights the jumbled messages from different branches of government regarding the pandemic. Whether or not the government follows through with either plan is yet to be seen, but is likely to resemble the confusing settled status system given to Europeans permanently residing in the UK. As a reminder, those currently registered as “pre-settled or settled’ don’t have any proof of their status, which can only be checked online using a database.