With the COVID-19 vaccine being made available across several parts of the world, many nations are now vested in figuring out systems to validate the status of vaccination. What we now have is the UK government contracting two firms for developing COVID “freedom passports” that would be used to validate the state of vaccination – something that officials once said was a conspiracy theory.
Amidst public criticism and backlash against the notion of developing such “freedom passports,” the UK government declared that there were no such plans in place. But the reality seems to be something else altogether, as the two firms have been instructed by the government to indeed create such a passport by means of an app-based system that can link to digital passports and integrate QR codes as well.
The Daily Mail noted that the QR code will possibly be scanned before granting entrance to public places such as sports events, movies, pubs, and other venues. If an individual’s QR code after being scanned doesn’t show a negative test result in the recent past, the individual may be denied entrance to these public places.
The proposal for the ‘negative Covid-19 test certification’ system was revealed on the Government’s contracts checker.
It shows a £42,000 contract was signed with Netcompany UK for a ‘Covid-19 Certification/Passport MVP’ in November.
The contract is described as being to ‘develop a negative Covid-19 test certification minimum viable product’ – a simple version of the app to prove it would be feasible to go forward with.
A similar contract – worth £34,000 – was awarded to the Hub Company. Under its scheme, individuals would sign up to an app giving them a personal QR code.
The UK government’s plans about freedom passports became public after being found on the government’s contract finder. Based on what the government website revealed, it was found that a company named Netcompany UK was awarded a £42,000 to prepare a MVP version of a “Covid-19 Certification/Passport.” Regarding developing a system for generating QR codes for test results, a company named Hub Company was awarded a £34,000 contract.
“It is about looking at ways we could use this in the future. It is looking at whether it would be possible,” claims a source from the Department of Health.
Be it in the UK or elsewhere, immunity or freedom passports greatly limit population from a range of essential services on grounds of a personal choice such as vaccination. While some sections of the population support travel bans for unvaccinated individuals, others are viewing the whole concept of “immunity passports” as a threat to free society.