By Sally Underwood • 26 February 2021 • 13:21
The online petition protesting vaccine passports says the plans could be, “used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine.”
The issue could now be debated by MPs after the petition attracted more than 200,000 signatures.
The news comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove to look at the scheme, which could see the existing NHS app updated to include proof of vaccination.
Mr Johnson said there are “deep and complex issues” with using vaccine passports to prove someone’s Covid status.
He said using certificates to allow visits to venues including pubs and theatres was a “novelty for our country.”
The petition posted on the Parliament website says: “We want the government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/ immunity passport to the British public.
“The government must be completely clear to the public about the use of vaccine passports and their intensions, which will undoubtedly affect societal cohesion.”
Previously, the government had said it would not introduce such a scheme for domestic use.
Any parliamentary petition signed by more than 100,000 people must be considered for a debate among MPs.
The chamber where these debates are held, Westminster Hall, is currently not hosting debates due to Covid restrictions, however on Thursday MPs voted to restart them.
Chair of the Petitions Committee Catherine McKinnell said 41 petitions currently waiting for debates had been started since the suspension.
She added: “I welcome the House’s agreement to resume Westminster Hall debates, and for them to be hybrid, helping to keep Parliament Covid-secure and ensure that as many Members as possible can take part in our debates.”
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Sally Underwood is a former aide to several former cabinet members and now contributes her views on Parliament’s ever-changing shape in her column for the Euro Weekly News.
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