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

Brits who have had both Covid jabs can now find their vaccine certificate on the NHS app

Fifty Tory MPs are prepared to vote down the decision to introduce mandatory vaccination passports – with claims the plans are ‘misguided’ and could block freedoms.

The government has faced demands to recall Parliament amid concerns Covid vaccine passports have been introduced by “stealth” via the NHS app.

We want to hear from you: let us know what you think about this story and be part of the debate in our comments section below

Britain's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has said it's a 'good idea' for workers to be fully vaccinated before return to office as criticism mounts about Covid vaccine passports (Tolga Akmen/POOL/AFP/Getty)
Read More
Tokyo Olympics: Medal rush continues for GB swimmers as Duncan Scott wins silver...

At a glance: 5 key points

- Vaccine passport contracts have been signed off this week worth up to £1.6 million – which could signal Brits might need them for two more years, i newspaper has reported

- 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

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

- More than 40 Tories have signed a declaration expressing their opposition to the idea

- The NHS App was updated with 'domestic' and 'travel' options for Britons to prove their vaccination status this week

- He also confirmed 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

What’s been said

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.

“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.

He said: “For most people this doesn’t matter one way or the other.”

Background

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

Parliament is in recess until September 6 and can only be recalled at the request of the government.

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 coronavirus, despite pressure as other nations move to drop the rule earlier.