UK News NHS app will contain 'Covid passport' from TODAY
Bolton is revealed as UK hotspot for new Indian Covid strain
Indian variant cases have soared over the last week and Public Health officials say almost half the cases are related to travel or contact with a traveller. The cases are spread across the country, however, the majority of the cases are in London and the North West, predominantly Bolton.Residents living in the Bolton boroughs of Rumworth, Deane and Great Lever are being told to expect a knock on the door.
A change to theapp brought in today allows people to prove whether they have had the Covid jab – effectively making it a vaccine passport.
The update for users in England has been brought in with little fanfare but MPs and privacy campaigners have voiced fears that any such system could be discriminatory and a breach of human rights.
The app, which is separate to the NHSapp for contact tracing, can already be used to request repeat prescriptions, book doctor appointments and view medical records.
The update coincides with Step 3 of the Government's roadmap, which lifts the ban on foreign travel. The NHS Digital website reads: 'From 17 May, people in England who have had a full course of the Covid-19 vaccine can demonstrate their Covid-19 vaccination status for international travel.
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'People can prove their vaccination status in the NHS app or by ringing 119 to get a letter.' A No 10 source last night said the updated app was designed to allow people to meet foreign countries' requirements for visitors. But they said 'no decisions' had been taken on the scope or use of any domestic scheme.
Boris Johnson has shelved the idea of requiring people to prove their Covid status to access pubs and restaurants.
But the idea is still being investigated by a review led by Michael Gove for mass events like sports stadiums and business conferences, and larger indoor venues like theatres.
The controversial notion of vaccine passports has been considered as a way for fully vaccinated adults to mix freely indoors without any need for restrictive public health measures or masks.
However, MPs across the political spectrum and privacy campaigners have voiced their fear that any such passport could be discriminatory and a breach of human rights.
The change introduces a 'vaccine record' service.
Users can prove they have had two doses of the jab and are therefore fully vaccinated..
A paper version is also available by calling 119 but not through a GP.
Border chaos at Heathrow: 'Bottleneck' queues form at passport control .
Staff said there is overcrowding at the west London airport as passengers from different lists form a bottleneck and are forced to drink from same water fountain. The security and hosting services employees blasted the airport for letting arrivals from red list countries mix with those from green and amber.Pictures from Terminal 2 today show travellers from Covid-stricken India just yards away from other flyers as they were escorted to quarantine.It comes as Grant Shapps urged holidaymakers wanting to visit countries on the Government's amber list to have 'more patience'.