UK to pilot use of coronavirus passports at upcoming large gatherings

UK to pilot use of coronavirus passports at upcoming large gatherings
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The United Kingdom is reportedly planning to test “coronavirus status certifications” in the next few weeks to determine whether people can return to mass gatherings such as concerts, sporting events and nightclubs.

The Associated Press reports that the trials will collect evidence on how different factors, such as ventilation and social distancing, could allow large events to resume, citing British authorities. People who attend such events in April and May will need to be tested for the coronavirus before and after attending.

British officials are also looking into COVID-19 passports that will show whether a person has been vaccinated, has recently received a COVID-19 test or has some form of immunity to the virus either from illness or immunization, the AP reports

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The passes may involve the use of an app or physical notes for those who lack access to technology.

U.K. Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston told reporters, "the earliest pilots almost certainly won’t involve any elements of certification," and will instead involve testing before and after events. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to share more details on the plan on Monday, the AP reports.

“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,” Johnson said, according to the AP.

According to the World Health Organization, the U.K. has confirmed more than 4.3 million coronavirus cases and over 126,000 deaths, leaving it as the most impacted European country. More than 35 million coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered so far.

The idea of coronavirus passports has been a topic of debate in the U.S., with many GOP lawmakers coming out against it. White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiReporters lodge complaint with White House over Biden-Johnson meeting access White House faces increased cries from allies on Haitian migrants Harris 'deeply troubled' by treatment of Haitian migrants MORE has said that there are currently no plans for a federal mandate requiring individuals to obtain vaccine credentials and there will be no centralized federal database.

However, it was reported last week that the White House is working with private companies to develop a standard of vaccine credentials. The Washington Post reports that the initiative will involve free apps that may display a scannable code similar to that of an airline boarding pass.