The government has awarded a contract to develop technology that proves you’ve recently had a negative Covid-19 test

23 December 2020
What was claimed

Everyone is going to be issued a digital health or vaccine passport. If you allow them to vaccinate you and test you regularly, you will be given more personal freedoms.

Our verdict

A government contract has been awarded to create a Covid-19 negative test result certification app. This is not a vaccine passport.

Several posts on Facebook have pointed to a government contract to create a “Covid-19 Certification/passport” as evidence that the government is introducing passports that will grant greater personal freedoms to those who have received a Covid-19 vaccine.

There’s no evidence this is true. 

The Department of Health and Social Care has awarded a contract to a company to develop a “negative Covid-19 test certification minimum viable product.” 

The contract is to create technology that will allow people to prove they have recently tested negative for Covid-19, rather than their vaccine status.

In a supplementary document, DHSC says it wants the supplier to create something to “allow trials to take place to enable members of the public to show negative COVID Test status evidence electronically as soon as possible.” 

This is to “enable workplaces, educational 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.”

There is no mention of vaccine status being recorded as part of this technology. 

We asked DHSC if they had any plans to introduce such a vaccine passport, and it told us: “We have no plans to introduce immunity passports following this vaccination programme.”

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as partly false because although the government has awarded a contract to develop a Covid-19 status app, there are currently no plans to introduce vaccine passports.

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