Mirror Online: LONDON, England – Introducing vaccine passports risk creating a ‘two-tier society’ which could lead to millions feeling discriminating against, the Government has been warned.
It could create a situation where people from groups where vaccine take up is lower are barred from social events, venues and even travel.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stressed no plans have yet been finalised but the idea is currently being examined.
A review found they could “potentially play a role” in settings such as theatres, nightclubs and mass events in the months ahead.
They are also being considered for use in pubs and restaurants to reduce social distancing restrictions.
But the commission says they could create a “two-tier society whereby only certain groups are able to fully enjoy their rights”.
It said: “There is a risk of unlawful discrimination if decisions taken in this process disadvantage people with protected characteristics who have not received, or are not able to receive, the vaccine, unless they can be shown to be justified.
“Any mandatory requirement for vaccination or the implementation of Covid-status certification may amount to indirect discrimination, unless the requirement can be objectively justified.”
Chair of the EHRC, Baroness Kishwer Falkner, says if the go-ahead is given, any such freedom passes must be time-limited.
“We would monitor the rollout to ensure the right balance is struck between protecting the public’s health and our individual freedoms,” she said.
The potential use of certificates – which would include vaccination status, test results or evidence of someone having contracted and recovered from Covid-19 – is opposed by at least 40 Conservative MPs and Labour is also sceptical about the measure.
Since the government report, the Cabinet Office has ruled out the documents ever being necessary on public transport or in essential shops.
More than 32 million people in the UK have now received a first dose of the vaccine.
The Department of Health and Social Care is launching a five-week consultation on the issue to seek views on the proposal, any potential impact it could have on staffing and safety, how it could be implemented and who could be exempt, with a decision expected in the summer.