The UK is preparing to test a series of measures that will allow some activities to resume in the country after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Among them, authorities are proposing to test people at the entrances and exits of sporting events, shows and nightclubs. In addition, there is the idea of ”Covid-19 passport”, which should clarify whether the person has already received a dose of the vaccine and the history of negative or positive tests.
The passport proposal is being discussed all over the world, including the United States and Israel. The criticism revolves around people’s medical privacy and also the potential to discriminate against people and poor countries, who do not have immediate access to vaccines.
Dozens of British politicians, including some from Boris Johnson’s own party, oppose the measures. Secretary Michael Gove, who led the task force responsible for drafting the plans, acknowledged that the vaccine passports raised “a number of practical and ethical issues” that must be resolved before any broader implementation.
But British Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston stressed that “the first drivers will definitely not include any elements of certification”, but will include pre- and post-event tests. According to him, Johnson must provide more details about coronavirus passports tomorrow.
The first events to operate this way will be the FA Cup semi-finals, scheduled for the end of the month at London’s Wembley Stadium, and the final on May 15. Projections indicate that in the first test there will be 4,000 people on the stadium, which has a capacity of 90,000 people. In the second case, up to 21 thousand people can be involved.
Also this week, the government should identify ways to ease restrictions on international travel. Last week, the UK added four more countries to its red list of travel bans. On April 9, the UK Red List is expected to include 39 countries. The goal is to prevent more types of the virus – especially those first discovered in Brazil and South Africa – from reaching British soil.
The authorities say that about 47% of the country’s population has received the first dose of the Coronavirus vaccine, and more than 5 million people have received the second dose. Despite a successful vaccination, Britain still has the highest number of Covid-19 deaths in Europe, at around 127,000.