COVID passports have ‘significant implications’ for councils

By William Eichler | 06 April 2021

Local authority leaders have called on the Government to work closely with councils on the COVID-19 status certification proposals because of the impact they will have on local enforcement and other areas.

The Government has confirmed that there will be a further easing of the lockdown on the 12 April, which will see outdoor pubs, shops, gyms and hairdressers reopen.

Despite the easing of restrictions, the official guidance still emphasises the importance of social distancing and gatherings are still limited to six people or two households outdoors.

The Government also confirmed that a COVID-status certification system will be developed over the coming months.

These ‘COVID passports’ would show the vaccination, test or immunity status of the bearer and could allow higher-risk settings to be opened up more safely and with more participants.

Responding to the announcement, Cllr James Jamieson, chairman of the Local Government Association (LGA), said that COVID passports would have ‘significant implications’ for councils.

‘We urge Government to work closely with local government on any proposals for COVID-19 status certification,’ he said.

‘They are likely to bring significant implications for councils, particularly with regards to licensing, enforcement and support to venues and businesses who would have to use them.

‘Councils can therefore provide vital insight into how the scheme can work best in practice, consider equalities implications and links to vaccine confidence.’

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