The EU has confirmed a planned launch date of June 15 for ‘digital green certificates’ for travel, but UK industry sources warn there is “a lot to work through” before vaccination certificates are in use.
EU leaders pledged to develop certification “as a matter of urgency” at a summit last week while agreeing restrictions on travel must remain.
The UK government insisted it has made no decisions on certification pending a review by Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.
However, Gove told MPs on Monday that the agency behind the government’s contact-tracing app is developing digital vaccine certification.
A leading industry source warned: “Getting a digital solution by travel’s opening date will be a huge challenge.
“There are a lot of data issues to work through. We’d like certificates by the summer, but tying it to the domestic piece wouldn’t make sense. The need is greatest on international travel where some countries will require it.”
A second industry source said: “Domestic use doesn’t matter as long as we accept the EU digital green pass. But are we going to have the systems in place?
“At the moment, certification is far too paper-based, too disparate with too many systems, and too many data issues. We need to do the work. We’ll probably see it, but later.
“The UK is unlikely to have a system in place to do vaccination certificates any time soon.”
Air France-KLM chief Ben Smith welcomed the EU decision, but pointed out: “We’ve been calling for a coordinated approach for a year. We still don’t have one.
“We still don’t have a common passenger locator form in the EU. At the last count there were 13 [and] most member states have different testing regimes.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told The Telegraph that Covid passports for international travel were “inevitable”.
But he said Covid passports being used for everyday social activities once the pandemic has eased, such as visiting the pub, would be against the “British instinct”.
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