THOUSANDS of people who have had their jabs to protect them against Covid-19 are in line to receive an accompanying health passport as part of a UK Government trial due to begin later this month.

The health passport, seen as a way of helping to reopen parts of society such as pubs, restaurants and football matches to the public, will come in the form of a free digital app, which will enable people to prove they have been vaccinated and are Covid-free.

The pilot will run until March in two, as yet, undisclosed locations and will be monitored by public health chiefs. If it proved successful, then health passports could be rolled out to millions of people.

The innovation has been created by biometrics firm iProov along with cybersecurity company Mvine.

Innovate UK, the Government body in charge of funding technology and innovation, has already put £75,000 into the project as part of a £40 million start-up investment programme, that was launched last year.

The Daily Telegraph quoted Frank Joshi, the Director and founder of Mvine, as saying his company first began working on the passes to show test results but had since then received more funding to expand into creating the health passports.

He explained: “The idea is that we are there ready and waiting in the event that we find ourselves interested in a situation where we need to prove something about ourselves.

“Originally, we started off with this need to prove whether you’ve had an antibody test but it can be equally used to demonstrate whether you’ve been vaccinated.”

Andrew Bud, the boss of iProov, added that it was very important that anything that involved vaccinations should be linked to the NHS.

“We’re talking about a piece of remarkable technology that can be brought to bear and can be readily integrated with the NHS,” he said.

If the health passport were rolled out across the UK, then it would prove to be something of another U-turn for the Government.

In December, Nadhim Zahawi, the Government’s Vaccine Minister, made clear it was “looking at the technology” to introduce health passports. However, Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, quickly dispelled any notion of a quick roll-out, insisting: “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves; that’s not the plan.”

At the time, he stressed the emphasis was on the development of the vaccine programme. However, as this builds up, it now seems clear that in parallel the Government is looking at the option of health passports to help open up society.

Mr Gove pointed out that individual businesses would have the "capacity to make decisions about who they will admit and why".

A number of airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines have already indicated they would this year start offering a health passport system to their customers.