Shuls await steer on need for vaccine passports

Communal groups are looking for clarity from government on issue


International Certificate of Covid-19 Vaccination

Communal organisations have been discussing the use of vaccination passports but are awaiting a further steer from the government before deciding their policy.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Monday that the government was examining options for Covid certification — whether for testing, vaccination or immunity.

But he stressed that certificates would not be needed for the planned reopening of shops and hospitality venues over the coming weeks.

Vaccination passports were discussed at a meeting of directors of United Synagogue departments on Tuesday.

“We await to see how government thinking evolves on the issue,” a spokesman told the JC. “The United Synagogue does not currently require proof of Covid status for participation in our services or activities but urges all those who are able to be vaccinated to do so.”

Jewish Care said it did “not intend to make vaccine passports a necessity” for members unless it became a legal requirement.

“We are looking into a number of ways to bring people together again when it is safe to do so,” it reported.

JW3 chief executive Raymond Simonson said it was “extremely unlikely that JW3 will unilaterally bring in any measures that are not in keeping with those being introduced more widely”.

But he added that “we have always gone above and beyond the basic health and safety requirements, especially over the past year. For example, our own reopening roadmap is a cautious, phased approach.

“We will have more staggering of event start times — and a lot of options to engage with our programming online for those not yet ready to return to physical venues.”

A spokesman for the Movement for Reform Judaism said it was part of wider discussions as a member of the government’s places of worship taskforce. “While questions have been asked, no proposal has been put forward so far so it’s difficult to formulate a position,” he said. “As soon we learn more, we will be better able to respond.”




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