PASSPORTS for the vaccinated is an idea mooted for most of 2021 yet despite high case numbers, it’s not something Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently considering.

To many people it seems like an additional layer of security in the fight against the virus, while others see it as an attack on civil liberties.

In which case, the obvious solution to the quandary must be to “follow the science” but that’s where it gets tricky – experts can’t agree.

Institutes says Covid-19 vaccine passports limit the spread

According to an article in a leading medical journal, introducing Covid-19 vaccine passports can “reduce cases and deaths”.

In an opinion piece published in the BMJ, researchers from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change said vaccine passports can provide “reassurances” and limit spread in a crowded or enclosed environment.

Kirsty Innes and Daniel Sleat from the institute argue that the passes are “the most accurate tool at our disposal for limiting transmission and avoiding further blanket lockdowns”.

They cite research from the institute which found that if the Government pressed ahead with vaccine passports after restrictions were eased in England on July 19, “this could have reduced cases and deaths over the subsequent weeks by as much as 30%”.

Institute argues Covid passes do not prove people are free from the virus

Imogen Parker, associate director at the Ada Lovelace Institute and policy fellow at Centre for Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge argued that Covid passes “do not prove that people are free or safe from the virus”.

She referred to the outdoor Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall in August which became a so-called superspreader event, even with the use of additional testing and vaccine passports.

“Like more traditional public health measures such as mask-wearing or distancing, passports may reduce risk but can’t guarantee safety. Unlike masks or social distancing, however, they introduce profound risks into society,” she wrote.

These include segregation, inequality and the “creation of enduring surveillance technology in response to what we hope will be a time-bound crisis”, she added.

What can people do to stop the spread of Covid-19?

The Government advice is, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have received a positive test result, you should still self-isolate, even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This will reduce the risk of spreading infection and help to protect other people.

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19 and you are fully vaccinated, or aged under 18 years and 6 months, you are not required to self-isolate.

If you are above that age and are unvaccinated, you must stay at home and self-isolate. This includes not going to work or school, not visiting public areas or using public transport and taxis.