Covid passports are set to begin in England with proof of vaccination for nightclubs and other venues needed by the end of the month, the vaccines minister has confirmed.
Nadhim Zahawi said the scheme would beginning when all over-18s have been given the opportunity to have both doses of the jabs.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show Mr Zahawi said introducing Covid passports was the “right thing to do”.
He said evidence provided by the “exemplary way” the Premier League had introduced Covid passports, which allowed stadiums to open at full capacity last month, was “clear cut” and showed proof of vaccination worked in some circumstances.
“One of the things that we have learnt is that in large gatherings of people, especially indoors the virus tends to spike and spread,” he said.
“The best way we can keep those industries open in my view, in our view, is to work with the industry.”
Industry leaders have warned against the plans warning it could put added strain on the hospitality sector.
Digital Covid passports have been available in England from May through the NHS App, which already allowed users to access a range of NHS services on their smartphone or tablet, including vaccination records.
Users can check their vaccination status through the app if permitted by their GP. This applies to all vaccines.
To use the app you must be registered with a GP in England. The government is recommending people register with the app before booking international travel and at least two weeks before the departure date.
Currently, Covid-19 passports can only be used once a person has had a full course of vaccinations – that means both jabs.
Passports for Scotland
Scotland is following a similar pattern with Covid-19 passports set to be required at nightclubs, music festivals and football games.
The Scottish parliament is to vote on the proposals this week with vaccine certificates expected to be enforced at venues and events considered high risk for coronavirus.
The scheme will only be implemented once all adults have had been given the opportunity to have both doses of the jab, according to a statement from the Scottish government.
Proof of vaccination will be required for nightclubs; unseated indoor events of more than 500 people; unseated outdoor events of more than 4,000 people; and any event of more than 10,000 people.
Scottish Labour has said it would refuse to support the plans to introduce vaccine passports.
As of September 3 people in Scotland can download a PDF copy of their vaccine certificate with a personalised QR code which can be used on their mobile phone.
The passport can be viewed online using a unique username and password provided on Covid vaccination appointment letters.
Not for travel
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidance on the use of Covid passports stating it does not support the requirement of proof of vaccination for travel.
But the WHO does support the use of information about Covid vaccination to reduce the need for quarantine or testing upon arrival in a country.
The Digital Documentation of Covid-19 Certificates guidance sets out a framework for adopting digital tools for Covid-19 vaccination status to ensure the products meet the same standards and are interoperable.
It states a digital certificate should never require a person to have a smartphone or computer.
You can find out more about Covid passports and how they work in our explainer here.