English universities will not require vaccine passports for students, says Department for Education

By Developer - Last update

Get Daily news and updates directly to your Email

The Department for Education has announced that there are no plans to bring in a vaccine passports system for students at English universities.

Several ministers, including the foreign secretary Dominic Raab, admitted in interviews this week that they had not ruled out the use of vaccine passports as students return to campuses next month.

Raab said that, should vaccine passports be required, students would be given “advance warning,” but on Saturday the Department for Education announced that it was not planning on requiring students to provide proof of their vaccine status prior to attending lectures or staying in residence halls.

A spokesperson for the DfE said:“Vaccinations are important in helping to keep higher education settings safe for when students return in the autumn term and we strongly encourage all students to take up the offer of both vaccine doses.

“The government currently has no plans to require the use of the NHS Covid pass for access to learning, however, universities and FE [further education] colleges are encouraged to promote the offer of the vaccine and should continue to conduct risk assessments for their particular circumstances.”

At the moment, anyone over the age of 18 in the UK has been offered at least the first dose of the vaccine, as well as those who are set to turn 18 in the next three months.

The government plans for all adults to have been offered both jabs by the end of September. From that date, ministers have said that vaccine passports showing proof of vaccine status will be required to enter nightclubs and other crowded venues in England.

Sir Ed Davey, the Liberal Democrat Leader, believes that the use of domestic vaccine passports would be unsuccessful.

Davey told Times Radio:“We’ve all agreed that for international travel you’ll need to have Covid options but domestically, sort of Covid ID cards, the Liberal Democrats have led the campaign against them. We’ve seen MPs in other parties share our views that this would be a real attack on people’s freedoms and particularly hit businesses and young people. It is unworkable, it is expensive and it is divisive.

“That’s why the government haven’t gone ahead with it previously. Now we hear, in the recess when parliament can’t debate it, they’ve by stealth changed the rules so your NHS app could be used as a Covid ID card across venues.”

Damian Collins, the former chair of the digital, culture, media, and sport select committee, suggested that unvaccinated individuals cannot expect the same treatment as those who have been vaccinated moving forward.

“We don’t force anyone to have a vaccine in this country, it is up to their individual choice,” he told Times Radio. “But at the same time, it might be unreasonable for someone who has decided not to get vaccinated to expect to be treated in the same way as someone who has been vaccinated twice.”


Universities unsure about making students prove vaccine status
University leaders are encouraging students to get fully vaccinated