Exclusive: Ministers will tomorrow discuss a proposal drawn up by the Cabinet Office to introduce vaccine and testing certification, for when international travel is allowed again.
If approved at the COVID-O meeting, responsibilities will be divvied up between government departments:

DFT to set up certification infrastructure, Cabinet Office to to lead on formal engagement with other countries and international organisations.
NHS will also be told to make sure people can access their vaccine status for outbound travel.
I’m told Dominic Raab has signed off on the proposal - something an ally of the foreign secretary did not deny.
A government insider tells me there is "nervousness" about about when such a system will even be announced publicly, let alone rolled out for use.
Over the weekend, the vaccines minister told @SophyRidgeSky when asked if the government was looking to create immunity passports: "No, we're not."
@SophyRidgeSky A briefing paper prepared ahead of the COVID- O meeting tomorrow says: "We should not set even speculative timelines on when this may change border measures."

Full story here:

Labour's shadow home secretary Nick Thomas Symonds backs the proposal.

He tells Sky News: "I do think there should be preparation for looking at methods of safe international travel of course, and there is a precedent for this in terms of immunisation certificates."
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi tells @SophyRidgeSky: "If people need to be able to demonstrate they’ve had a vaccine, their data is held by the national vaccine and immunisation system, and you have to be able to make that data available to people if they require it."

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More from @breeallegretti

1 Feb
BREAKING: Residents in two parts of Woking, Surrey to be offered COVID tests after two people with no travel links tested positive for the variant discovered in South Africa.
Ruth Hutchinson, Director of Public Health for Surrey, said: “This is a precautionary measure - the more cases of the variant we find, the better chance we have at stopping it from spreading further."
A total of 105 cases have now been discovered of the South Africa variant in the UK, says Surrey Local Resilience Forum.
Read 9 tweets
1 Jan
This is coming a little late, as I'm trying to stay off Twitter on non-work days...

2020 was rubbish, particularly as someone who loves meeting new people and spending all hours of the day in a pub.

But I did some pieces I'm proud of and wanted to share:
My biggest highlight was getting to cover the US election from Washington DC.

Just before polling day, I went to find people whose friends and relatives had died of COVID-19.

I'll never forget their stories or anger at the White House administration.

Closer to home, I also uncovered that useless coronavirus tests were being sent out, with recipients told to bin the kits because they weren't able to be returned and processed.

They were still included in the government's testing total.

Read 8 tweets

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