Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has denied plans to introduce a Covid-19 vaccine passport system which could allow bars, cinemas, restaurants and sports venues to refuse entry to people who haven’t been inoculated.

Gove told Sky News “I certainly am not planning to issue any vaccine passports and I don’t know anyone else in government who would.”

The idea had been suggested by Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zadhawi on Monday during an interview with the BBC, when, after being asked about a vaccine passport, he claimed that people should expect pressure from service providers to “demonstrate to us that you have been vaccinated.”

Gove’s denial also comes despite NHS Test and Trace boss Baroness Harding recently informing her team that, as a vaccine approaches, they are looking into turning the app into a Covid-19 passport that displays people’s inoculation status on their phone, allowing them to return to normal life.

The idea of a Covid-19 passport has been floated as a way to convince people who might not want to be inoculated to have the vaccine. Gove accepted that was a significant challenge but argued it can be done through persuading these individuals that it’s in the collective interest, rather than imposing restrictions on non-vaccinated individuals.

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