During World War 2, the British Government introduced ID cards as a temporary emergency measure. When the War finished the ID cards remained in place until 1952 and were only removed following a legal challenge.
There is nothing as permanent as a temporary law.
There is no doubt that the COVID crisis is an exceptional situation needing exceptional measures, particularly relating to international air travel. The airlines industry led by IATA has responded by developing a Travel Pass which will allow users to voluntarily link their passport with their vaccination status, and this should become available later this month. This is in the form of a smartphone app which will link to the existing IATA travel database.
It is already mandatory for international air travellers to carry a passport and depending on the destination, to have a visa or carry vaccination certificates – and the IATA Travel Pass is effectively an extension to your passport. It will be free to all passengers and is not mandatory – it is a balanced solution to a specific problem.
However, the suggestion that everyone in the UK should have to carry a Covid passport – to visit the pub, or go to a sports match, or go to the supermarket – is the thin end of a draconian wedge. Whether in the form of a smartphone app or an official certificate, this would be neither optional nor free, and police will quickly start to abuse their powers and start stopping people on the street to check their status – in the interests of public safety of course!
It will only be a matter of time before Priti Patel decides that the Covid passport details will be extended to include your address and National Insurance number, and will be needed to access any public service. Temporarily of course… and covered in Union Jacks…