Before allowing foreign travel further, a cross-party group of MPs has called on the government to produce a digital “Covid Green Pass.”
They’ve also suggested upgrading airport e-gates to avoid huge lines when travel resumes in earnest — and they want PCR tests to be less expensive.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus outlined its recommendations in a paper titled Covid Green Pass For Overseas Travel, which draws on expert testimony from a session held last month on the usage of “vaccine passports” for public events and international travel.
According to a report: “While the UK and global population remain only partially vaccinated, and because vaccination does not negate the risk of transmission of Covid-19, the focus of the ‘Covid Green Pass’ should continue to be proof of a recent negative PCR test.
“Vaccines, and therefore a Covid Green Pass, are not a ‘silver bullet’.
“A Covid Green Pass should be considered in line with other strategies to reduce exposure risk and make spaces Covid secure.”
Paper-based solutions, according to the research, cause “long lines and mixing in arrival halls” and are more vulnerable to fraud than a digital Covid Green Pass.
“E-gate upgrades must be implemented before international travel is resumed in summer,” said the report.
“Without e-gates, queues will continue to be ‘unacceptable from a welfare, safety and security perspective’.”
It was also suggested that the Covid Green Pass be integrated with the NHS app and combine test results and vaccination status.
“Vaccination status alone should not be sufficient for international travel, and should be combined with a negative PCR test in order to provide the strongest possible protections against Covid variants being imported into the UK. This should remain in place until a high level of vaccination is attained globally,” the report advised.
Furthermore, as other European nations have done, the government should investigate ways to minimize the costs of testing, such as a VAT exemption or a price ceiling, according to the APPG.
It should also look into whether the NHS can expand its testing capabilities for overseas travel.
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