Michael Gove is visiting Israel to consider options for a COVID passport scheme in Britain – but new civil service job adverts suggest that the development of passes (both digital or non-digital) is already underway.
The Guido Fawkes blog has the story:
Multiple jobs have now come up in both London and Leeds with NHSX [the tech arm of the NHS], which spells out they are: “Developing both digital and non-digital options to enable U.K. residents to assert their Covid status, including both vaccination history and test results.”
The ad also confirms a rapid timetable, given applicants must be able “to start with us by Tuesday, May 4th, 2021“. The consultation document released by the Government a fortnight ago merely said they had “committed to explore whether and how COVID-status certification might be used to reopen our economy”. Sounds like the “exploring” is over…
It doesn’t take an incredible memory to remember back to February when [Vaccine Minister] Nadhim Zahawi was confidently telling Andrew Marr Covid passports would be “discriminatory”.
In a recent article for the Telegraph – in which he asked readers to give their thoughts on COVID passports and received some great (though not, for him, agreeable) responses – Gove praised Israel’s “green pass” system and considered whether something similar could be implemented here.
In Israel, which is one of the few countries to have vaccinated a higher percentage of the population than we have in the U.K., they have been using a “green pass” to “get back to normal” more quickly.
This green pass system allows citizens who’ve been vaccinated, recently recovered from the virus or who’ve had a recent negative test to congregate in venues which had been closed for months such as theatres and nightclubs…
If we do accept that COVID certification is going to be required to travel abroad, the question then follows can these certificates help in other ways?
If Israel can accelerate its citizens’ returns to nightclubs, football stadia and theatres with these certificates, might we?
Despite Boris’s last press conference using the flowery language of the government looking at “the potential role of COVID status certification”, the new internal civil service job ad all but confirms the plans.