BRITS could have three ways of getting a Covid “freedom pass” to get into venues such as pubs and sports stadiums.
Past infection, proof of a jab or a recent negative test recorded on a smartphone app would give the green light.
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Those who have had Covid will be able to show proof of their immunity from the bug on the NHS app to claim their pass even if they have not been jabbed.
PM Boris Johnson revealed yesterday that evidence of antibodies in the blood could be enough to qualify for the certificates for pubs, restaurants, cinemas, stadiums and theatres.
It follows Wednesday’s bombshell admission that pubs will be able to use vaccine passports to block un-jabbed drinkers.
A review into how it will work will be published early next month, with current plans looking at using the NHS app as a digital freedom pass.
A paper version will be handed out to those without smartphones.
Individual businesses will be able to ignore the scheme — but those that take it up look set to be allowed to relax social distancing in their premises and pack in more punters.
WHAT must I do to go to the pub?
You must prove you’ve had the jab, a natural immunity, or a recent negative test.
HOW will I prove my status?
The Government wants to add certificates to the NHS App, with a physical version for non-smartphone users.
WILL I have to social distance?
Not if you have the certificate.
WHAT if I’ve had no jab, don’t have antibodies or want a test?
You can go to pubs, bars or venues with social distancing.
WILL I need one to sit in a beer garden on April 12?
No, these measures don’t affect the reopening then.
The PM said last night that the review into how Covid certificates could work will be published in as little as ten days’ time.
But he promised its findings would not delay the reopening of beer gardens on April 12.
Boris acknowledged the “moral complexities” around a domestic vaccine passport scheme and suggested that it might only be possible to introduce one after all adults had been offered a jab at the end of July.
He said: “The libertarian in me is also trying to protect people’s fundamental right to life and their ability to live their lives normally.
“And the only way really to restore that for everybody is for us to beat the disease and the best path to freedom is down the cautious but irreversible road map that we’ve set out — that’s what the freedom-lover wants.”
But the scheme is likely to be hugely controversial and spark massive opposition from civil liberties campaigners, some Tory MPs and many businesses.
Last night, one Tory claimed drinkers who choose the negative tests option would need to take two over three days to enjoy 24 hours of freedom.
Steve Baker blasted the need to take them to enjoy the same liberties for a single day as those jabbed or with natural immunity.
He added: “That is a pretty despicable way to live. It’s a way to live from which I recoil in absolute horror, applying to the Government for 24 hours of freedom after a couple of tests.”
The best path to freedom is down the cautious but irreversible road map that we’ve set out.
Britain has more than 30million 15-minute pin-prick kits to test antibodies in the blood — evidence of previous infection — ready to be rolled out this summer.
Michael Gove’s review into how the scheme would work is looking at using stock which has been languishing in warehouses over the past year.
The Cabinet heavyweight, left, told MPs yesterday: “My view on this issue is consistent — that a system that relied purely on vaccination would not be appropriate.
“But what would be right was a system that ensured that we could open up our economy to the maximum extent that takes account both of vaccine status, but also of recent test status and indeed potentially also antibody status as well.”
The PM added: “There are three basic components — the vaccine, your immunity that you might have after you’ve had Covid, and then there’s testing.
“So there are three things that could work together. No decisions have been taken at all.”
More details of the vaccine certificate will be unveiled in the first two weeks of April but it is not expected to come into force straight away.
Meanwhile, controversial laws which extend the Government’s lockdown powers for another six months sailed through the Commons last night despite a Tory backbench revolt. MPs voted by 484 to 76.
Some 35 Tories united with dozens from Labour to rebel against the law.
In a fiery showdown, lockdown- hating Conservatives said the draconian powers should be ditched now Covid rates are falling.
One, Sir Desmond Swayne, warned: “After months of denial, now indeed it will be the case that you will have to provide your vaccination bona fides when you go to the pub.
“And those people who are teetotal imagining that they might be spared that intrusion and inconvenience can dream on, because undoubtedly this will be extended to restaurants, theatres, sporting venues and so proceeding to total social control.”
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In a wacky intervention, another Tory MP Sir Charles Walker vowed to go on a bizarre one-man protest with a pint of milk to vent his fury.
A review is also looking at social distancing measures.
The plans to end lockdown implied that these would be lifted in June in England but government sources were rowing back on that commitment.
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