COVID passports allowing Brits to return to normal life may not be ready until the autumn, reports claim.
Boris Johnson is set to reveal more details tomorrow on the Covid certificates which will allow people to go on holiday and return to sports matches and theatres.
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He will also tell Brits his plans to press ahead with a “vaccine certification” system for larger venues from next month.
But senior government sources have warned the new scheme – which will most likely work over a mobile app – could take “months not weeks” to develop.
And sources have told The Telegraph that it could take as long as until September to get it right.
Another insider said: “I don’t expect it to be until much later in the year.”
Members of the public may have to show the app to gain access to sports stadiums, theatres, festivals and nightclubs.
Those without a smartphone will get a paper certificate.
The government has hired a Danish company to develop the app which could also, for example, allow grandparents to scan family members into their birthday parties.
The system will be trialled at nine pilot events over the next few weeks, where experts will also explore how high-tech ventilation and Covid tests on entry are working.
Mr Johnson will study the feedback to help decide how to manage other large-scale gatherings as restrictions are lifted.
The PM said: “We are doing everything we can to enable the reopening of our country so people can return to the events, travel and other things they love as safely as possible, and these reviews will play an important role in allowing this to happen.”
Only those attending mass gatherings, such as festivals or major sports events, will be required to provide proof of a jab, test or natural immunity.
Boris will also announce that foreign travel will be be allowed by a traffic-light system in just six weeks, according to The Mail.
It comes as the new Oxford Biomedica factory will allow the production of 5 million extra doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine every year.
This means the plant in North Wales will be the most efficient producer of that jab in the world.
Meanwhile Mr Johnon has ditched plans to force customers to show a vaccine passport every time they go into a pub.
In a major boost for the hospitality trade, the PM will exempt bars and restaurants from new Covid safety rules.
And Landlords, who can reopen outdoors-only a week tomorrow in England, will soon be free to admit anyone who follows existing guidelines on social distancing and mask-wearing.
Boris’s change of heart came after an angry backlash from 72 MPs who branded the idea “divisive and discriminatory”.
Liverpool will be a key test centre for the opening up of the rest of the country — with four pilot events being held at a comedy club, a cinema, a nightclub and a business conference arena from next week.
And some fans will be allowed at Wembley for the Carabao Cup final on April 25, the FA Cup final on May 15 and a semi-final on April 18.
The World Snooker Championship in Sheffield and a mass participation run at Hatfield, Herts, are also involved.
Scientific advisers will use evidence from the nine pilots to assess transmission risks in different settings.
An insider said: “These events will not only be used to try out the new Covid passport.
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“We’ll have lots of eyes and ears and systems gathering a mass of data.
“What we learn in the next few weeks will be crucial to how we proceed into step three of the unlocking process on May 17.”
A review of social distancing will address a looming decision — how and when the one-metre rule and working for home guidance can safely be lifted.