‘Never liked the idea’ UK scraps vaccine passports before rollout

The UK government has dropped its plan for vaccine passports in England for those wanting to attend large events.

The vaccine passport program was set to be rolled out at the end of the month but faced a wave of criticism from both members of the government’s own party, business groups and civil liberty advocates.

Health Minister Sajid Javid said he was pleased it will not be implemented, saying the high vaccination rate of over 80 per cent made it unnecessary.

“We’ve looked at it properly and whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports,” he told the BBC.

“I’ve never liked the idea of saying to people you must show your papers or something to do what is just an everyday activity.”

Javid also said the government would scrap travel restrictions “as soon as we possibly can”, as well as calling for some pandemic emergency powers to be repealed, saying “we don’t need them”.

The move comes as Denmark became the first nation in the EU to drop all Covid-19 restrictions saying the virus is no longer a “socially critical disease”.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said Denmark had the epidemic “under control” with three quarters of adults vaccinated but warned “we are not out of the epidemic” yet.

“The government has promised not to hold on to the measures any longer than was necessary, and there we are now,” he said.

“The government will not hesitate to act quickly if the pandemic again threatens important functions in our society.”