No reason to believe coronavirus unlocking will not go to plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says

The NHS is developing methods for people to demonstrate their Covid status, it has been confirmed, as Boris Johnson there was no indication so far that the roadmap to exiting restrictions would be delayed.

The Prime Minister today announced that the planned reopening of hospitality, shops, hairdressers, gyms, and more will go ahead on April 12, and he said he would be going to the pub in a week’s time.

But Mr Johnson said: “We can’t be complacent, we can see the waves of sickness affecting other countries and we’ve seen how this story goes.”

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However he said: “We set out our roadmap, and we’re sticking to it, and I wanted to stress that we see nothing in the present data that leads us to think that we will have to deviate from that roadmap.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19). Photo: PA

But he stressed that was based on the current situation.

As part of his press conference this afternoon Mr Johnson also reported on the stages of various Government reviews designed to help life move back towards normality.

One of the reviews commissioned when the roadmap was announced was into so-called vaccine passports, or Covid-status certification - where certain restrictions could be lifted if it could be proved a person had received the vaccine, a recent negative test, or had coronavirus antibodies.

The PM has faced fierce opposition on the matter, but documents released today to coincide with his announcements confirmed the health service was “working on providing individuals with the means to demonstrate their Covid status through a digital and non-digital route”.

The Prime Minister said “the most important thing” was that certificates would not be needed from next week, or even in the next stage of reopening from May 17.

But he said: “What is certainly true is that the idea of vaccination status being useful for international travel is something that all countries are looking at, I do think that’s going to be part of the way people deal with it, we need to think about that.”

Certification based mainly on testing will be trialled at large events including the World Snooker Championships at the Crucible in Sheffield, and the Circus nightclub in Liverpool.

But the documentation also suggested these certificates could be used to reduce the need for social distancing in hospitality venues.

However it was recognised that this could have “significant implications for businesses and their customers” and therefore further consultation was to take place. It was also said certification would never be required to access essential public services, public transport, or essential shops.

People who have tested positive for the disease within the past six months will potentially be considered to have natural immunity from Covid as part of a UK vaccine passport scheme, documents showed, as well as either having had a recent negative test or a vaccination.

The Government was still hopeful foreign holidays would be possible this year, but Mr Johnson said it was too soon to say.

He said: “Obviously we’re hopeful that we can get going from May 17, but I do not wish to give hostages to fortune or to underestimate the difficulties that we’re seeing in some destination countries that people might want to go to.

“We don’t want to see the virus being reimported from abroad.”

The documents released today also confirmed a traffic light system whereby countries would be sorted based on their risk and therefore dictate quarantine requirements.