Britain has long resisted the idea of requiring people to carry identity documents, and for some in the country, this issue carries authoritarian overtones. The leader of the opposition Labour Party, Keir Starmer, recently suggested that Covid “passports” could be against the “British instinct.”
Mr. Johnson acknowledged the sensitivities and pointed out that the certification plan would not be rolled out for a few months. The government plans to test the program in pilot locations, from a comedy club and nightclub in Liverpool to the FA Cup soccer final at Wembley Stadium.
“You’ve got to be very careful in how you handle this,” he said, “and don’t start a system that is discriminatory.”
Starting next week, the prime minister said nonessential shops, hairdressers and beer gardens in pubs would be allowed to reopen. But he was far more cautious about foreign travel, declining to say whether the government would stick to its earlier target of May 17 for lifting a ban on overseas vacations.
Britain plans to classify countries according to a traffic light system, with visitors from green countries not required to isolate themselves, visitors from amber countries required to isolate at home for several days, and those from red countries required to continue quarantining in hotels.