The British government reportedly plans to introduce vaccine stamps in passports by next year for those who have been inoculated against Covid-19.
The inoculation stamps are being worked on by the Department for Transport, as airline bosses around the world announce they will make vaccinations mandatory before flying.
A supporter of the passport stamps, MP James Sunderland, told The Telegraph, “Pets need a vaccination passport when travelling between the UK and Europe and this would be a wonderful way of ensuring freedom of movement for people too. A vaccination stamp is simple, would save all the hassle at either end and really boost confidence.”
He insisted that, “We must do everything possible to boost the economy by re-opening our travel, hospitality, leisure and business sectors, and how fantastic would it be to have our planes, trains and boats full again.”
Government sources told the newspaper that Aviation Minister Robert Courts is “upbeat and supportive” of the idea. Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said earlier this month that his transport secretary is “looking at all such schemes”.
Some airlines are already saying they will require such stamps after the international rollout of vaccines, with the CEO of Australian airline Qantas saying last week that proof of inoculation will be required to travel on his company’s flights.
Korean Air and Air New Zealand say they may be forced to require vaccine stamps as some governments may implement mandatory vaccines as conditions for reopening their borders to international travel.
However, the chief executive of Irish short-haul budget airline Ryanair says that they are unlikely to require the stamps, explaining that it is unrealistic to require such restrictions within Europe.
“With short-haul and freedom of movement of people in Europe, I think we’ll see an entirely different landscape come spring and early summer,” he said. “In European cities, if you were to choose no vaccination, you’d just get an express train instead.”
For those staying at home in the UK, the British government is considering “freedom passes” as a means of lifting lockdown restrictions. People who test negative twice in a week would be given a certificate on their phones, enabling them to see their families or travel without a mask within the UK.