Compulsory Covid status certificates for pubs and restaurants are looking increasingly unlikely, with a government review set recommend documents are required only for larger events.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove’s review is understood to prioritise Covid certification measures for larger events in places such as theatres, music venues or sports arenas.

A Whitehall source told The Guardian the measures would focus attention on “higher-risk settings that are not open and big events” rather than smaller settings such as pubs.

However, the inquiry has not ruled out letting landlords and restaurant owners make their own judgments about terms of entry.

There is also the possibility that certification could be used in smaller venues in the autumn if Covid-19 cases start to surge, as a way of keeping them open.

Gove has praised Israel’s green pass system, which is used for entry into indoor venues, for allowing Israel to “accelerate its citizens’ returns to nightclubs, football stadia and theatres with these certificates”.

The government plans to use a modified NHS app which could also be used for international travel.

Paper documents could be provided for people who do not use smartphones.