Swann not keen on Covid passports for pubs

Swann not keen on Covid passports for pubs

Health minister says international travel is a different matter

Robin Swann has said the idea of Covid-19 passports to get access to pubs or restaurants is “not something that sits comfortably” with him.

Northern Ireland’s Health Minister said talks were taking place at a UK-wide level about possible certification for international travel but that would need to be considered across the UK and Ireland.

Speaking to Stormont’s health committee about talks with UK ministers on international travel, he said:   “If certain countries require vaccination certificate or passport prior to entry for holidays then that’s something we’ll have to develop.

“It’s not something from a political or personal point of view I think we should ever develop in Northern Ireland that we would need to provide certification to enter a cinema or restaurant.

‘International travel’

“In regards to proof of international travel we already have those in certain regions for yellow fever, it may become an international requirement, but to access services I don’t think it’s something the executive or assembly would be entirely comfortable with.”

At the moment, anyone who has had the jab receives a vaccination card, and the details go in their medical records.

The UK is considering whether to introduce more formal proof that someone has had the jab, with a passport feature added to the existing NHS app a possibility.

People could then use their phone to prove they have been vaccinated or had a recent negative test.

A passport could also be used to permit entry to venues such as bars or sports stadiums.

A petition against the idea already has more than  200,000 signatures, meaning it will be considered for a debate by MPs.