The Government is set to conduct a review into whether so-called ‘vaccine passports’ could be used to allow people to enter hospitality and leisure venues.

As outlined in its four-stage roadmap out of lockdown, the Government plans to assess whether ‘covid-status certifications’, otherwise known as a vaccine passport, could play a role in reopening venues and restarting major events. It is understood that one of the options being considered is the repurposing of the NHS Covid app, to act as a vaccine passport.

Following Monday’s roadmap announcement, the Prime Minister has said the review will look at whether Government could either introduce the certification, or ban businesses from requiring it.

Speaking during a school visit yesterday (23 February), Johnson said the passport concept was a “novelty” area for the UK, and Government had initially “never thought in terms of having something that you have to show to go to a pub or a theatre”.

“There are deep and complex issues that we need to explore, ethical issues about what the role is for Government in mandating people to have such a thing or, indeed, banning people from doing such a thing,” he said.

“We can’t be discriminatory against people who, for whatever reason, can’t have the vaccine - there might be medical reasons why people can’t have the vaccine, or some people may genuinely refuse to have one. Now I think that’s a mistake, I think everybody should have a vaccine, but we need to thrash all this out.”

One area where vaccine passports may have a more likely use is for international travel, he added, on the premise that there was “no question” other countries would be looking to do something similar.

“They will be insisting on vaccine passports in the way that people used to insist on evidence that you’ve been inoculated against Yellow Fever,” he said. “So it’s going to come on the international stage whatever.”

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove will lead the review.