Most UK adults support idea of using Covid vaccine passports, poll finds

These results follow a petition signed by over 145,000 people, calling for the UK government to not roll out a vaccine passport

Adrian Hearn
Thursday 18 February 2021 18:27 GMT
Over 15 million adults in the UK have recieved their first Covid-19 vaccine dose
Over 15 million adults in the UK have recieved their first Covid-19 vaccine dose (AFP via Getty Images)

Two-thirds of UK adults support the idea of vaccination passports despite legal and ethical concerns, a poll has revealed.

More than 15 million adults have now received their first dose as the UK leads the way with its vaccine programme.

The rapid rollout has prompted questions about whether the government should introduce vaccine passports for foreign travel – a move previously rejected by Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccine minister, over fears it would be discriminatory.

A survey of 2,000 adults has revealed 68 per cent support vaccination passports for people heading out of the UK on holiday and business.

And more than three quarters think tourists entering the UK should also be able to provide proof they have been vaccinated.

However, The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said they shouldn’t be introduced due to the “critical unknowns” regarding the efficacy of vaccination in reducing transmission.

The WHO has also expressed concerns that while there is limited availability, preferential vaccination of travellers could result in inadequate supplies of vaccines for priority populations considered at high risk of severe Covid-19 disease.

More than one third of those surveyed by private Covid testing and GP services, Medicspot, admitted they were concerned that forcing people to have vaccination passports to go abroad would be a breach of human rights as it could discriminate against those who are waiting for the vaccine, cannot have it, or do not want it.

It follows a petition calling on the UK government to not roll out a vaccine passport which has been signed by more than 145,000 people.

A spokesperson for Medicspot said: “Unfortunately the virus is here to stay, and authorities and the public will be looking at ways to live with it.

“The UK’s vaccine rollout has been a brilliant success and the subject of vaccination passports is a sensitive subject which finds itself at the centre of a complex debate.”

Medicspot, which provides fit to fly certificates that show people are Covid-19 free so they can travel abroad, looked at how the public views current regulations on international journeys.

The survey found almost half think the threat of 10 years in prison for lying about their travel to avoid a 10-day quarantine is a fair punishment, with just 37 per cent regarding it as harsh.

And more than a fifth would be happy to pay £1,750 to be quarantined after arriving in the UK from a country on a Covid red list.

The majority also support the use of an up-to-date fit to fly certificate saying they don’t have Covid-19 so they can travel abroad.

The research, carried out via OnePoll, showed almost all of those surveyed are really impressed with the UK’s rollout of the vaccination. Half of the public think the Covid-19 vaccine should be compulsory for all adults, while a few think it should only be compulsory for adults deemed ‘at risk’ by medical experts.

Many also thought it was a good idea for the NHS to use Sir Elton John and Sir Michael Caine to encourage people to get the vaccine.

But despite the vaccine rollout, only a few actually think people will be able to attend public events like sports matches and music gigs this year.

If these large events do allow spectators, the majority support the use of vaccine passports or an up-to-date certificate saying you don’t have Covid-19 in order to attend. 

Overall, 74 per cent support the government’s latest lockdown and its measures, with just 14 per cent opposed.  

A spokesperson for Medicspot added: “The last 12 months have been an incredibly difficult time for everyone, and the vaccine has provided some light at the end of the tunnel.

“There were fears that the public was at risk of misinformation regarding vaccines and conspiracy theories, but the (survey) shows the vast majority of adults are supportive of the science and behind the vaccine programme and are overwhelmingly happy with how the rollout has been going.”


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