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How Israel’s ‘green pass’ could be adapted for UK

Downing Street is studying coronavirus certificate that has allowed Israeli venues to reopen

Michael Gove is to lead a review into the launch of so-called vaccine passports in the UK as ministers look to emulate the success of a similar scheme in Israel.

After announcing the plans yesterday, Boris Johnson told reporters that although “fervent libertarians will object” to the Covid jab certification, “others will think there’s a case for it”.

Gove’s review will collate “the best scientific, moral, philosophical [and] ethical viewpoints” on the issue, the prime minister added.

The system to “identify people with vaccine immunity” would allow “businesses to ensure their employees have had the jab or could be used to allow people to enter hospitality venues”, ITV reports.

The rollout of a “green pass” app in Israel has paved the way for the reopening of synagogues, gyms and hotels to vaccinated citizens. 

The Middle Eastern country - which has already vaccinated half its population - also offers the certification to people who have immunity after contracting but then recovering from the coronavirus.  

As the UK considers introducing a similar system, a government source told The Telegraph that Gove “will look at international operators, as he did when he was looking at education reforms and studied systems in Singapore and Shanghai.

“Israel's scheme is something we will examine and it would be odd if we didn't look at positive tests as a factor.”

As with the Israeli version, the UK's proposed Covid certificate is expected to take the form of an app “that would allow a person to show either they had been vaccinated or tested for the virus”, says the paper. “Combining test results with vaccination data is seen as a way of avoiding appearing to discriminate against those who decline the jab for health or moral reasons.”

The Times reports that the existing NHS appointment booking app could be redesigned to host a digital Covid certificate as it “already allows people to see their medical records and test results are shared with GP databases, making it feasible to access them quickly”. 

By contrast, the NHS contact-tracing app is considered unsuitable because its design favours privacy”, the paper adds.

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