Despite previous government denials that there are any plans to roll out COVID vaccine passports, reports have confirmed that every person vaccinated in two select areas of Britain will be offered exactly that as a ‘trial’ being rolled out with immediate effect.
The London Telegraph reports that biometrics firm iProov and cybersecurity firm Mvine have developed the vaccine passports, which will be optionally provided as an app on phones of those vaccinated.
The government will conduct the rollout in two local authorities, and monitor its application until March.
The report notes that the government has ploughed £75,000 into the trial already, which is claimed to be a way of monitoring who has had the vaccine.
Frank Joshi, director and founder of Mvine noted that while the project started as just a way of keeping a record of COVID tests, extra funding was pumped into it in order to turn it into a vaccine passport scheme.
“Originally we started off with this need to prove whether you’ve had an antibody test, but it can be equally used to demonstrate whether you’ve been vaccinated,” Joshi said, according to the report.
Andrew Bud, chief executive of the other company involved, iProov, said that the system will be integrated with the National Health Service, and could easily be rolled out to everyone in the country.
“We’re talking about a piece of remarkable technology that can be brought to bear and can be readily integrated with the NHS,” he said.
The development appears to be separate from the government contracts given to two other firms to develop COIVD ‘freedom passports’, which we reported on several weeks ago.
Last month, Britain’s vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi announced that the government had no plans to introduce immunity passports en mass, or place restrictions on those who do not take the jab.
This latest revelation puts Zahawi’s already dubious claim into serious doubt.
The report, stemming from sources close to the government, noted that “Those who refuse to get the Covid-19 jab would likely be refused entry to venues, as part of the same proposals.”
Other reports have suggested that an app already used prominently in the UK by people to book doctor and hospital appointments could implement a vaccination status section that will show whether a person has taken the coronavirus jab or not, and that businesses may use it to refuse entry to those who have not.
The spectre of so called ‘immunity passports’ is looming globally.
Yesterday it was revealed that Denmark is the latest country to announce that it is rolling out a ‘Covid passport’, to allow those who have taken the vaccine to engage in society without any restrictions.
Recently, the government in Ontario, Canada admitted that it is exploring ‘immunity passports’ in conjunction with restrictions on travel and access to social venues for the unvaccinated.
Last month, Israel announced that citizens who get the COVID-19 vaccine will be given ‘green passports’ that will enable them to attend venues and eat at restaurants.
Sam Grant, campaign manager at the civili liberties advocacy group Liberty has warned that “any form of immunity passport risks creating a two-tier system in which some of us have access to freedoms and support while others are shut out.”
“These systems could result in people who don’t have immunity potentially being blocked from essential public services, work or housing – with the most marginalised among us hardest hit,” Grant further warned.
“This has wider implications too because any form of immunity passport could pave the way for a full ID system – an idea which has repeatedly been rejected as incompatible with building a rights-respecting society,” Grant further urged.