UK PM to set out plan for “COVID status certification” scheme

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LONDON, April 4 (Xinhua) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to set out plans on Monday to develop a “COVID status certification” scheme to enable the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events as lockdown restrictions eased in England.

Officials are planning a series of trial events over the coming months as they look to find a way for venues such as football grounds and nightclubs to reopen without the need for social distancing, British media reported Sunday.

Johnson will set out more details on Monday at a time when the British government announced that more than 5 million people in Britain have received their second dose of the vaccine.

However, British lawmakers will want to study the proposals closely with many deeply suspicious about anything which smacks of a “vaccine passport” for domestic use, the Evening Standard newspaper reported.

More than 40 Tory lawmakers have publicly declared their opposition to the idea, and Johnson could struggle to get the plan through the British Parliament if they decide to oppose it, said the London-based newspaper.

In developing the scheme, officials will take into account three factors, whether an individual has received the vaccine, has recently tested negative for the virus, or has “natural immunity” having tested positive in the previous six months.

The prime minister will also outline the government’s approach for easing restrictions on foreign travel when its global travel task force reports on April 12.

British ministers have made it clear that the ban on foreign travel will remain in place until at least May 17.

When it is finally lifted, it will be replaced by a risk-based “traffic light” system with red, amber and green ratings for countries around the world, local media reported.

This will be based on a range of factors, including the proportion of the population that has been vaccinated, rates of infection, emerging new variants and the country’s access to reliable scientific data and genomic sequencing.

Travellers arriving from countries rated “green” will not be required to isolate, although pre-departure and post-arrival tests will still be needed.

For those classed as “amber” or “red”, the restrictions will remain as they are will arrivals required to isolate or enter quarantine.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia, the United States as well as the European Union have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines. Enditem

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