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Coronavirus news – live: Domestic passports could ‘undermine vaccination programme’ as fears grow over NHS app

The Independent logo The Independent 04/05/2021 Zoe Tidman and Sam Hancock
a group of people standing on top of an airport © Provided by The Independent

A strict or poorly-designed domestic Covid vaccine passport regime could unintentionally undermine the UK’s vaccine rollout, MPs have been warned.

Experts said a system that required vaccination for access to non-essential shops, pubs and restaurants could be seen as persuading people to get their jabs.

Professor Steve Reicher, a top social psychologist from St Andrew’s University, told a hearing of the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus earlier: “There is a very traditional, well-known psychological process called reactance: that if you take away people’s autonomy, if you force them to do something, they will reassert their autonomy, even if that means not doing things that they would otherwise want to do.”

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It comes amid reports from No 10 that the NHS app may not be ready to carry the international version of Covid passports when travel resumes on 17 May.

The government is expected to announce a green list of destinations – from where arrivals into England will not have to quarantine – on Friday, and then review this list every three weeks.

Most of Europe and the US should move onto the UK’s “green list” next month, according to ministers.

Meanwhile, ministers have said there are “no plans” to bring forward the earliest date for lifting Covid-19 restrictions from 21 June despite what Downing Street has called “hugely encouraging” data on coronavirus transmission.

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