Immunity passports

How serious is No. 10 about immunity passports?

How seriously is the government considering immunity passports? It seemed we had a definitive answer in December when vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi categorically ruled them out on Spectator TV. He told viewers: ‘There will not be an immunity passport… as far as vaccinations [go], we’re not looking at immunity passports at all.’ This followed comments from Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove days before also confirming there were ‘no plans’ for such a scheme. But these promises haven’t exactly aligned with government action. The Telegraph disclosed last month that £450,000 worth of government grants had been dished out to at least eight different schemes to create digital vaccine passports. Today the Times

The problem with immunity passports

Could we see ‘immunity passports’ in Britain? Ministers are reportedly discussing them as a route out of lockdown. According to today’s Guardian, the UK tech firm Onfido is in discussion with ministers about creating a ‘digital certificate’ that would be issued to those who have already been infected with coronavirus – who are presumably more immune – so they could return to some resemblance of normal life, including heading back into work.  The technology needed to carry out such a scheme is reportedly in the ‘discovery stage’ and big questions linger as to whether British bureaucracy – which has struggled to source plastic PPE and has trailed other countries in Covid-testing for months