Most Britons support a COVID-19 vaccine passport system

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
March 05, 2021, 3:10 PM UTC

Britons are opposed to private companies being allowed to develop vaccine passports, however

Boris Johnson has revealed the government’s roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions, and with plans being drawn up for the reopening of public spaces there has been the suggestion of a “vaccine passport” system. This system would involve giving everyone a vaccine passport once they have received their COVID-19 vaccines, and allowing services and venues to re-open so long as they only serve those who have already been vaccinated.

Would Britons support a vaccine passport for COVID-19?

Overall, almost six in ten Britons (58%) would support the introduction of a vaccine passport system as soon as possible while the vaccine rollout is still ongoing, including a quarter (28%) who strongly support the idea. Some 34% of the population would be opposed to the idea, however.

The introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine passport system during the rollout is supported across the major political parties, with 64% of Conservative, 60% of Lib Dem voters and 55% of Labour supporters all in favour.

Opposition to a rapid rollout of a vaccine passport scheme is highest among younger Britons, with 18-24 year olds split 45% in support and 42% opposed. However, when asked about introducing a vaccine passport system after the vaccination programme is complete – rather than immediately – opposition gives way, with some 60% of 18-24 year olds in support and only 27% opposed.

Among the general public, support for a vaccine passport system after the vaccination programme ends rises to seven in ten (70%), with only 20% opposed to a proof of vaccination scheme once everyone has been offered the jab.

Support for introducing vaccine passports for those arriving to the UK from overseas is similar – with some 65% of people thinking proof of vaccination should be a requirement, however this includes 35% who say that this could be waived if the traveller isolates.

There does appear to be something of a contradiction in public opinion, however. A vaccine passport system inevitably involves allowing some Britons access to activities while depriving others. A separate YouGov survey recently found that, when asked whether those who have been vaccinated should or should not be subject to the same restrictions as everyone else, Britons are overwhelmingly of the view that they should (79%). Clearly, the way the concept is framed can have a huge impact on support.

Which places should require a COVID-19 vaccine passport?

When it comes to which public spaces should require proof of vaccination after the immunisation programme is complete, two thirds of Britons (72%) think that those wishing to visit friends and relatives in care homes should be required to show a vaccine passport. This is closely followed by gyms as well as pubs and bars, which around half of people (56%) think should require proof of immunisation.

A similar number of Britons think the same of restaurants (53%), however only 44% say the same of coffee shops and just a quarter (33%) think proof of vaccination should be needed to visit pub gardens.

More than two in five Britons think a vaccine requirement should also be brought in for public transport.

Supermarkets (31%) and garden centres (29%) are the places people are least likely to think vaccine passports should be required.

Those aged 65 and above tend to be the most in favour of public spaces using vaccine passport systems: 76% of this group supports vaccine passports for pubs and bars, compared to 48% of 18-24 year olds.

Should private companies be allowed to develop vaccine passports?

While Britons are broadly in favour of a vaccine passport system, the public tends to want whatever system is put in place to be government-run. Some 58% of people are opposed to private companies being allowed to develop their own vaccine passport systems during the vaccine rollout. This figure drops to 49% who would be opposed to private systems after it has finished, although even then only a third of Britons (35%) would be in support.

See full results here