Covid O meeting to discuss vaccine passports to be held tomorrow with hopes summer holidays could be saved

THE powerful 'Covid O' Cabinet committee are set to meet to discuss vaccine certificates to unlock the borders this summer.

Cabinet ministers are set to meet on Friday to discuss setting up a process to potentially allow Brits to travel this summer if they have been vaccinated.

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Although a decision is a long way off, they will look at a number of options including apps to implement ‘Covid travel certificates’ with partner nations.

Dakota Gruener is the Executive Director of ID2020, which is looking at digital IDs said border measures were “blunt tools which are unsustainable” and said vaccines passports were “incredibly likely”.

A Government spokesperson said: "The UK Government, like most nations, wants to open up international travel in a responsible safe and fair manner and we continue to be guided by the science.

"We want to ensure there is an internationally recognised approach to enable travel and are working closely with international partners to do so."

It’s understood the international system could be “introduced at some point in the future” but the timeline is far from being agreed.

The news comes just days after the government's vaccine chief insisted the UK would not be dishing out immunity passports.

When asked about the possibility of the Government issuing immunity passports,  Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi told Sky's Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "No, we're not.

"One, we don't know the impact of the vaccines on transmission.

"Two, it would be discriminatory and I think the right thing to do is to make sure that people come forward to be vaccinated because they want to, rather than it be made in some way mandatory through a passport.

"If other countries obviously require some form of proof, then you can ask your GP because your GP will hold your records and that will then be able to be used as your proof you've had the vaccine.

"But we are not planning to have a passport in the UK."

It is currently illegal to go on holiday abroad from the UK.

I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive, will there or will there not be the opportunity to take holidays this next year either at home or abroad.

And yesterday, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps warned until the entire country is vaccinated, travel restrictions are likely to remain in place.

Speaking on Sky News, he explained: "The truth is we just don’t know how the virus will respond to both to the vaccines and of course how people will respond.

"I’m afraid I can’t give you a definitive, will there or will there not be the opportunity to take holidays this next year either at home or abroad."

He also warned that the vaccine rollout will affect the start date of holidays and he didn't want to "raise people's hopes".

Mr Shapps was backed by the Prime Minister last night, who said he hopes to give more details on travel the week after next.

The PM told a No.10 briefing: "Well, as you know, everybody knows it's currently illegal to go on holiday.

"That's the state of play at the moment, we're looking at the data, every day, on Monday we'll be able to say a little bit more about where we are, where the data is.

"Then in the week of the 22nd, as I said, we'll be setting out the roadmap.

"I hope that we'll be able to give some clarity to people there.

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"I am afraid it is just too early for people to be certain about what we will be able to do this summer.

"We hope to be able to say more in the week of the 22nd when more comes in, and how the vaccine is working on us all.

"We are just going to have to be a bit more patient."

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