Vaccine passports

Thank you for contacting me about vaccine passports.

First of all, I want to thank all the people who have made extraordinary sacrifices over the last year and a half by following the rules, helping to keep the pressure off the NHS and taking up the offer of a vaccination when it was made. The phased removal of restrictions of recent months has only been possible thanks to the successful vaccination programme and I continue to urge people to make sure they get both jabs. This will allow us all to get back to doing the things that we loved and have missed out on for so long.

Those of you who have travelled abroad, or plan to, will know that we have always had to provide proof of identity to enter a new national jurisdiction and in times of pandemic, that means also showing proof of health. I think we can expect that this will be the case for the foreseeable future.

I also understand that the Government scientists have clear views on places that will cause extra risk of infection as we approach the winter – enclosed, unventilated spaces for example – and guidance will continued to be issued as we develop the nation’s response to covid-19 and its new variants.

However, I truly believe that people have the capacity to make their own sensible decisions about how best to preserve their health and the health of others. I do not wish to see us following a path where ‘covid passports’ are a permanent way of life. I feel it is a divisive strategy, I resisted it when the idea was first mooted, and I would not support such measures if called on to vote in the House of Commons.

Thanks you for contacting me on this important matter.