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Fact check: Britain has not awarded a contract to develop a vaccine passport

A screenshot of a contract award notice has been shared on social media alongside the false claim that it shows a COVID-19 “vaccine passport” is being developed in the UK.

Reuters Fact Check. REUTERS

Posts sharing the claim can be seen (here , here).

The posts show a genuine contract awarded by Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for a ”Covid-19 Certification/Passport”, which can be seen (here).

The contract, awarded to a company called Netcompany UK Limited, is not for a vaccination passport, but for a certificate system for people who test negative for COVID-19.

A document detailing how the certificate could work explains that it would enable: “workplaces, education centres, health and social care services and places of business to open to members of the public who have tested negative for COVID-19 within a specified timeframe in addition to other criteria” (here).

A DHSC spokesperson told Reuters via email: “We have no plans to introduce immunity passports following this vaccination programme.”

“We are continually exploring ways in which we can return to normality as soon as possible while controlling the spread of the virus.

“This includes ways in which technology could be utilised to enable workplaces, educational centres and health and social care services to reopen to the public safely”.

In the UK, vaccinations are not mandatory but instead operate on a system of informed consent (here).

VERDICT

False. The contract is not to develop a vaccine passport, but for a certificate system for people who have tested negative for COVID-19.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.

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