He also rejected calls for some people like carers to be obliged to be vaccinated to do their jobs, saying it was “not part of our plan”. He added: “We’re definitely not going to make the vaccine mandatory.”
The Health Secretary confirmed ministers are working on a form of vaccine passport to enable travel to some countries, but he went on: “That is different from saying we are going to lift lockdown rules differentially according to whether you have had the jab or not. We are not planning to do that.”
Asked by the BBC’s Today programme if people could get more freedoms if they were vaccinated, he stressed the Government only saw it as a way of easing travel to countries that demand it.
Mr Hancock’s words ruled out any link between Government laws and vaccine freedoms, but did not preclude pubs, theatres or transport systems venues declaring they would only take people who have been vaccinated.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab suggested on Sunday that vaccine passports might be used at a “domestic or local level,” in places like shops and restaurants. No 10 later denied any such plans.
WHO chief: ‘Some sort’ of Covid vaccine passport will be introduced in future
Speaking to Sky News, Mr Hancock confirmed that the Government is working with other countries on an internationally recognised app or certificate, popularly known as a vaccine passport.
“There are some countries that are considering bringing in rules saying you can only travel if you have been vaccinated,” he said. “In that case, it will be important for people from the UK to be able to show whether or not they have been vaccinated in order to travel.
“So we are working with countries around the world on how that vaccine certification can happen.” He compared the idea with Yellow Fever certificates that are already required to visit parts of sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr David Nabarro said: “I am absolutely certain in the next few months we will get a lot of movement and what are the conditions around which people are easily able to move from place to place, so some sort of vaccine certificate no doubt will be important.”
He added that countries would only be able to form “bubbles” for travel purposes if they both had the same standards of coronavirus restrictions and similar levels of vaccination