A review is looking into whether people should have to prove they have been vaccinated, as lockdown measures ease. A government source told the BBC that the option of allowing people to show a negative test was also being looked at. But Tory MP Steve Baker said it was a "ghastly trap" and unfairly penalised those advised not to have a vaccine. Meanwhile, MPs will vote later on new coronavirus laws for England's roadmap out of lockdown. They will also be asked to approve the government's plan to renew emergency coronavirus powers for another six months. The Coronavirus Act was introduced in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic.
The government review of vaccine certification could report in May to coincide with the wider reopening of hospitality in England, according to a senior government source. The review is looking at how people's vaccination and testing status could be stored securely and displayed on a mobile phone, and the circumstances under which such a system could apply.
The idea of asking pub goers to show a vaccine certificate was raised at Wednesday's House of Commons Liaison Committee hearing, when Conservative William Wragg asked Mr Johnson if vaccine certificates were "compatible with a free society such as ours".
Mr Johnson said the concept "should not be totally alien to us" as doctors already have to have hepatitis B jabs.
Mr Wragg then asked, what about "ordinary citizens going to the pub?" and the prime minister replied: "That's the kind of thing that may be up to individual publicans."
Pushed further, Mr Johnson said: "I find myself in this long national conversation thinking very deeply about it" adding that the public "want me as prime minister to take all the action I can to protect them".
Mr Johnson also said it seemed "wholly responsible" for care companies to require their workers to be vaccinated and "the principle is there" in terms of professions requiring certain vaccines when "entrusted with care of a patient".