Coronavirus: How might digital vaccine passports work?

The Scottish government is considering digital vaccine passports, a policy also set to be adopted by the UK Government.

The UK Government is expected to use a vaccine passport system, which is also being considered in Scotland.

Scotland's Health Secretary Jeane Freeman explained work was ongoing to develop the tools needed for digital vaccine certificates while keeping the ethical and equality questions under review.

It follows a similar approach endorsed by the Prime Minister, which he is expected to outline in greater detail at this evening’s Downing Street press conference.

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Despite earlier dismissing the idea, this weekend Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove suggested the UK could follow the "vaccine passport" scheme already in use in Israel.

He said: "The Israeli approach involves a smartphone app and the NHS app could serve a similar purpose here.”

The system is expected to consider three factors: vaccination, a recent negative test, or possible immunity based on a positive test in the last six months.Members of the public would then have to prove their status using an app at certain venues.

These are expected to be used for large events like sporting fixtures or concerts.

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Coronavirus in Scotland: The Scottish government is considering digital vaccine ...

Plans for use in pubs appear to have been dropped, but they may still be required for areas in which social distancing is difficult such as theatres or nightclubs.

The PM has insisted this could then give “maximum confidence” to businesses and the public as society returns to normal and restrictions ease.

They are not planned to be used long term for things such as entrance to shops or use of public transport.

It is expected that in less than two weeks, everyone in the top Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation priority groups will have been offered a first dose of vaccine, including all over-50s, unpaid carers and those with underlying health conditions.

There will also be exemptions for people for whom vaccination is not advised and repeat testing would prove to be difficult.

It follows other countries already working on requirements for people to prove their status before arriving.

Ms Freeman earlier said she favours digital certificates over paper versions as she believes the latter would place an extra unnecessary burden on the health service.

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