The U.K. government is now working to fund COVID-19 "vaccine passports" after saying weeks ago that they have no plans doing so, reports say.
Late last year, U.K. Minister Nadhim Zahawi who was responsible for overseeing the rollout of the vaccine argued that they have "no plans to introduce so-called vaccine passporting," Life Site News reported.
Despite saying that they are not even thinking of using vaccine passports, recent reports are now saying that Britons will receive a free app that they can use to prove that they have been vaccinated.
The government is set to release initial funding of £75,000 for the project which will be "overseen by two directors of public health." The two technological firms that will work on the project, cybersecurity Mvine and biometrics firm iProov, say that if proven successful the initial trial can be "expanded to millions of people."
On the contrary, earlier remarks from the U.K. government contradicted their earlier stand of the use of vaccine passports.
"In December, Michael Gove said that they were 'not the plan' but Nadhim Zahawi, the minister overseeing the rollout of the vaccine, said they were 'looking at the technology'," the Telegraph noted.
The report referred to the senior government official and Minister for the Cabinet Office's earlier remarks in December when they said that the vaccine passport was "not being planned."
"I certainly am not planning to introduce any vaccine passports and I don't know anyone else in government," Gove said.
In November, Zahawi said that vaccines are not compulsory. He told BBC by then that people should be allowed to make the decisions for themselves. However, "restaurants and bars and cinemas and other venues" like sports venues will probably use the app which makes it very good "to be vaccinated."
Zahawi continued, "I think the very strong message that you will see, this is the way we return the whole country, and so it's good for your family, it's good for your community, it's good for your country to be vaccinated."
Zahawi adds that providers will demand a way for people to prove that they have been vaccinated which is why they are making the technology easy and accessible as much as possible.
Compared to Gove's prior statement, Zahawi remarked that the government is looking at the technology that involve using vaccine passports.
When asked if people without a vaccine passport will be penalized, Zahawi's answer is in the negative.
"While I am aware that other nations may consider immunity passports alongside vaccination, it is my fervent belief that we must not penalize people who remain unconvinced," Zahawi answered.
While vaccine passports are still on a trial, Zahawi adds that vaccine cards issued after COVID-19 vaccinations "does not constitute a so-called vaccine passport" calling it to be "absolutely wrong" to do so.
Bob Moran, a lockdown sceptic and political cartoonist took to Twitter saying that whatever it was called - vaccine passports, health passport, freedom pass to name a few - it will cause people to never be free again once they accept its use.
Whatever they call it, if you accept the concept you will never be free again.
— Bob Moran (@bobscartoons) January 10, 2021