Boris Johnson hints domestic Covid passport plans could be DROPPED as he plays down the prospect of keeping social distancing rules in place past final step of his roadmap on June 21
- PM promised update on social distancing and vaccine passports later this month
- He appeared to cast doubt on whether Covid Status Certificates will be used
- PM said Government to consider ‘what role… if any’ for controversial documents
Boris Johnson today appeared to play down the prospect of rolling out domestic Covid passports and keeping social distancing rules in place beyond the last step in his roadmap on June 21.
The Prime Minister said the Government will provide an update later this month on ‘what the world will look like’ after the final stage in his lockdown exit strategy.
Addressing a Downing Street press conference, Mr Johnson said ministers will set out ‘what role there could be, if any, for certification and social distancing’ in a hint that both could be ditched.
Boris Johnson today appeared to play down the prospect of rolling out domestic Covid passports and keeping social distancing rules beyond June 21
Hospitality bosses have said a return to unrestricted trading from June 21 is ‘critical’ if pubs and bars are to bounce back from repeated lockdowns
The Prime Minister said the Government will provide an update later this month on ‘what the world will look like’ after the final stage in his lockdown exit strategy. Diners are pictured in Soho in central London on April 30
Mr Johnson announced this afternoon that step three of his roadmap will go ahead as planned on May 17 as international travel resumes, rules on social gatherings are eased and the hospitality sector is allowed to welcome back customers indoors.
But the PM also looked ahead to the final step in his plan which is now just over a month away.
Tory MPs are adamant that social distancing should be axed completely from June 21.
They are also against the domestic rollout of so-called Covid Status Certification amid fears the documents could be used to determine entry to pubs and shops.
Mr Johnson appeared to cast doubt on using the documents and on keeping social distancing beyond June 21 as he said: ‘This unlocking amounts to a very considerable step on the road back to normality and I am confident that we will be able to go further.
‘Subject to the impact of step three on the data, we remain on track to move to step four on the 21st of June and to give business more time to prepare we will be saying more later this month about exactly what the world will look like and what role there could be, if any, for certification and social distancing.’
Government reviews into social distancing and Covid passports remain ongoing.
The review of Covid Status Certification is looking at whether the documents ‘could play a role in reopening our economy, reducing restrictions on social contact and improving safety’.
The documents would use a combination of vaccination and testing data. Even if the domestic use of the documents is not taken forward something similar is likely to become a fixture of international travel in the coming months.
The social distancing review ‘is exploring whether existing rules, designed to limit virus transmission, could be relaxed in different settings’.
Hospitality bosses have said a return to unrestricted trading is critical if pubs, bars and restaurants are to bounce back from repeated lockdowns.
Mr Johnson said earlier this month that he believes there is a ‘good chance’ that current social distancing rules will be scrapped from June 21.
He said he hopes it will be possible to axe the existing one-metre plus rule when the nation reaches the final step in his roadmap.
He said: ‘But it also looks to me as though June 21 we’ll be able to say social distancing as we currently have to do it, the one-metre plus, I think we have got a good chance of being able to dispense with the one-metre plus from June 21.’