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The government cannot make a decision on vaccine passports. After months of layoff, Dominic Raab said they were being considered, before Matt Hancock muddied the waters, claiming they could only be needed for travel.
Raab claimed on Sunday that a domestic vaccination passport scheme – meaning they could be mandatory at certain stores, events or hangouts – was "under consideration".
This morning, Hancock declined the proposal – but did say that requirements to prove you have been vaccinated can be introduced for international travel. Hancock's claim comes after reports that ministers met last week to discuss just such a plan.
But so far, senior ministers and officials have repeatedly and emphatically stressed that there were no plans for a vaccine or immunity certification system.
Here are eleven times the plans were outright ruled out by the government:
December 1 – Minister of Cabinet Office Michael Gove:
"Let's not lead the way, that's not the plan.
“What we want to do is make sure we can get vaccines rolled out effectively.
"I certainly do not intend to issue vaccine passports and I don't know anyone else in the government who would."
December 1 – Prime Minister's Spokesman:
“There are no plans to introduce or require immunity passports to keep people out of certain locations who have not been vaccinated.
"Our plan is to introduce the vaccines to everyone who needs them, naturally giving priority to those with the greatest clinical need to ensure the highest uptake possible."
December 14 – Minister of vaccine Nadhim Zahawi:
"We have absolutely no plans for a vaccination passport …
Cards released after people got their first Covid-19 vaccination have been mentioned on social media …
"That record is not a so-called vaccine passport.
“After completion of both vaccinations, patients are given a vaccination registration card, as with other vaccination programs, so there is nothing different in the way we handle this vaccine.
"Again, that's not a so-called vaccine passport, nor can it be used as a form of identification. That would be absolutely wrong."
January 9 – Health Secretary Matt Hancock:
"It's not an area we're looking at."
January 12 – Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi:
“We have no plans to introduce vaccine passports.
"We have been vaccinated, as of yesterday 2,431,638 first dose and 412,167 second dose. No one has received or will need a vaccine passport."
– Nadhim Zahawi (@nadhimzahawi) January 12, 2021
January 14 – Prime Minister's Spokesman:
“Our policy on this remains the same.
& # 39; I think I've said it a few times.
"This is not something we are looking at, introducing, and it remains our policy."
January 22 – Prime Minister's Spokesman:
"I think I've been clear about the idea of immune passports or vaccination passports before, and the fact that we don't have a plan to introduce them."
January 24 – Health Secretary Matt Hancock:
"I am not attracted to the idea of vaccine passports here, we are not a country with papers."
January 28 – Prime Minister's Spokesman:
"It remains our policy that that's not the plan. I think I've replied to this a few times in the past few weeks. It's not something we want to introduce."
February 1 – Prime Minister's Spokesman:
'Well, I think I answered the question about vaccine passports or immunity certificates. And the fact that we have no plans to introduce them.
& # 39; I've been asking repeatedly over the past few weeks.
"We have no plans to introduce immunity certification or immune passports."
February 7 – Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi:
“First, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission; two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing is to get people to come forward to get vaccinated because they want to, instead of that it is made compulsory in some ways through a passport. "