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Use of vaccine passports for pubs and supermarkets 'hasn't been ruled out', suggests Raab

Ellen Manning
·3-min read

Watch: Domestic vaccine certificates 'under consideration', Dominic Raab says

Dominic Raab sparked confusion on Sunday after appearing to suggest that the government hasn't ruled out using so-called 'vaccine passports' domestically to access places like pubs and supermarkets.

The government has repeatedly said while such documents could be used to allow foreign travel, they would not be used within the UK and could be discriminatory.

But under questioning on LBC on Sunday, Raab said using them domestically hadn't been ruled out and was "under consideration".

The Foreign Secretary was asked: "So domestically it won't be needed? You don't think, a domestic vaccine passport where you have to show a bit of paper to go into a supermarket or something like that?"

He replied: "Well it's something that hasn't been ruled out and it's under consideration but of course you've got to make it workable."

Members of the public receive their Covid-19 vaccinations on board a modified bus - donated by Gogodoc, an on demand GP booking service - in the car park of the University of Greenwich, London. Picture date: Saturday February 13, 2021.
On Sunday Boris Johnson said UK had given the first dose of a COVID vaccine to 15 million people. (Getty)

Raab's comments came as the UK hit its target of offering at least one dose of a COVID vaccine to 15 million of the most vulnerable people.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair has called for vaccine passports to be rolled out and has previously urged the UK to lead the way in such a scheme.

Read more: Picnics and meeting friends for a coffee in the park 'to be first steps when lockdown starts to lift from March 8'

But despite suggestions that such a system could be used to allow foreign travel to resume, the government has previously said no such system would be introduced within the UK.

Raab's comments appeared to contradict such a view during his LBC interview, as he said the "modalities and mechanisms" of the ways people could show they have received a vaccine were all being looked at.

Watch: Raab rejects calls to commit to lifting lockdown by April

On the same day, the Foreign Secretary rejected calls by Tory lockdown sceptics to lift all COVID restrictions by the end of April.

More than 60 MPs on the COVID Recovery Group (CRG) have signed a letter to Boris Johnson demanding he commit to a strict timetable for ending restrictions in England thanks to the “tremendous pace” of the vaccine rollout.

Raab told BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that the government is taking a “cautious and careful” approach to lifting lockdown measures.

He said: "We have made good progress. We don't want to see that unravel because we go too far too quick.

"We are not making what feels to me like a slightly arbitrary commitment without reviewing the impact that measures have had on the transmission and the hospital admissions of the virus.

"I don't think you can set though an arbitrary target and not be evidence-led, which is why the review point on 22 February is so important."

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?