UK to trial 'COVID status certification' at mass events

Ruben Hill
April 4, 2021

The test scheme was welcomed by football clubs as it means some fans will be able to attend fixtures.

It had already been confirmed that the FA Cup final and semi-final would be test events but Sunday's announcement confirmed the number of fans to be permitted and the potential use of Covid passports.

However the move is likely to prove controversial with many MPs deeply concerned about the implications for civil liberties of requiring people to prove whether they are clear of the disease in order to attend certain events.

It comes after government ministers were warned against introducing vaccine passports by a cross-party groups of MPs, including senior Conservatives and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

What have the government said?

A proportion of tickets will be made available to both clubs for the game at Wembley Stadium on 25 April.

The World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield - running from April 17 to May 3 - is the first sporting event to be included in the trial and will have 1,000 spectators per day while there will also be a mass participation run at Hatfield House on April 24 and 25.

On 18 April, the FA Cup semi-final between Leicester City and Southampton will have 4,000 fans while the final on 15 May will welcome 21,000 spectators.

Researchers at the events will "gather evidence associated with different settings and approaches to managing and mitigating transmission risk".

At the same time the government is working on the development of a "Covid status certification" scheme, the so-called "vaccine passport".

The status certification system is intended for events where large numbers of people are close to each other, such as nightclubs, festivals and sports matches, the government said.

It added that it should not be used for public transport or entry to essential shops.

Pubs and restaurants, which are set to reopen indoor service from May 17, will not need to ask people's virus status.

Ministers stressed conversations are ongoing with clinical and ethical experts to build appropriate exemptions to the system for those who can't get the vaccine.

And, this year more than ever, it brings the promise of brighter days ahead for us all.

'We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen'.

Foreign holidays are now banned under Britain's coronavirus restrictions.

The government has also confirmed there will be a "traffic light" system when foreign holidays return.

The government would base the rating on levels of vaccination in the foreign country, the rates of infection there, and any emerging variants.

They will have to quarantine or self-isolate after visiting other countries.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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