Government accused of introducing Covid passports ‘by stealth’ after updating NHS app

The government has faced demands to recall Parliament amid concerns Covid vaccine passports have now been introduced via the NHS app for those who have been double jabbed.

Liberal Democrat former minister, Alistair Carmichael, accused the government of having “committed to vaccine passports by stealth” and said Parliament must be recalled from recess to discuss the measure.

A tweak to the wording on the NHS Covid Pass section has raised concerns, as it now includes a “domestic” section, which states: “You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service.”

More than 40 Tory MPs have signed a declaration expressing their opposition to the idea.

The Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps said some companies will require their staff to be fully vaccinated but that the government will not make it legislation.

He also confirmed on 30 July that while revellers will need proof of vaccination for entry to nightclubs later this year, it will not be needed to go to the pub.

Mr Shapps told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “We won’t go as far as requiring it (proof of vaccination) to enter a shop or the pub.

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“We will for very close contact things like going to nightclubs – other countries are for international travel – so I think there is precious little reason not to be vaccinated, every good reason to be vaccinated.

“Why wouldn’t we want to save lives? It’s just obvious to me.”

He said he did not know why the issue is “particularly controversial”, due to the high number of people who have already had jabs.

Mr Shapps also indicated the government is unlikely to budge on the August 16 date for people in England who are double-vaccinated no longer having to self-isolate if a contact tests positive for Covid, despite pressure as other nations move to drop the rule earlier.