Covid passport: Will I need a vaccine passport to watch football? PM outlines scheme

Vaccine passports: Expert discusses 'schemes'

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Covid passports have existed as little more than an idea over the last year. The success of the UK’s vaccination programme has people anticipating “normal” life, and ministers have led efforts to realise this. They recently outlined a Covid “certification scheme”, which could form a cornerstone of the UK’s lockdown policy.

Will you need a vaccine passport to watch football?

Football has barely stuttered back to life under Covid restrictions, with most games operating on a player-only basis.

Spectators are yet to return alongside televised events, with many season ticket holders eager to get back into stadiums to enjoy games with their fellow fans.

No live game is complete without the roaring crowds, and ministers are working towards a solution.

Boris Johnson will soon announce plans to establish a “Covid status certification” scheme designed to allow spectating.

The scheme, which officials are preparing for with a set of pilot events, will potentially allow football stadiums and nightclubs to reopen without social distancing.

The Government will test out plans to completely repeal social distancing via a series of pilot studies this spring.

Two of these take place at the FA Cup semi-finals and finals, attracting potential crowds of up to 21,000 people.

The only way for people to attend is with proof of immunity.

People wanting to take part will need to provide evidence they have received the vaccinations and a recent negative test.

The Government has also asked for a PCR test proving the presence of Covid-fighting antibodies.

Those armed with these tests could take part in one or more of the planned pilot events later this month and in May.

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The Government will use the experience to inform its Covid roadmap, which specifies how restrictions will dissolve over the coming months.

On its current track, ministers will end Covid measures in full by June 23.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said the incoming pilots would go towards “the life we all miss sorely”.

He wrote: “We will examine the risks closely, plan to keep people safe, mitigate the dangers and, in doing, so we will be able to have spectators returning in full to events once more.”

“Each successful pilot is a huge step forward towards the life we all miss sorely, every day.”

The Prime Minister commended the progress made so far and said he hoped entertainment could return “as safely as possible”.

He said: “We have made huge strides over the past few months with our vaccine programme, and everyone in the country has made huge sacrifices to get us to this stage in our recovery from COVID-19.

“We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”

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