COVID passports are being hailed as the way back to normal for the UK as the vaccine programme continues to roll out.

But passports - or Covid-19 status certification to give the policy its official name - poses a massive challenge to local authorities.

The Local Government Association (LGA) has said that Covid-19 status certification will bring significant implications for councils with regards to licensing, enforcement and support to venues and businesses who would have to use them.

COVID-status certification aims to provide documentation that an individual poses a reduced risk of transmission.

Although the full detail has not been hammered out, passports are likely to show vaccine status, a recent negative test, or proof of natural immunity after recovering from Covid.

Officials believe the move could hasten moves to restore our way of life by allowing more spectators at sports events and wider travel.

Responding to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement of the next step of the roadmap out of lockdown, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said: "It is encouraging that the ongoing reduction in Covid-19 case rates, hospital admissions and deaths means we can move forward to the next step of the roadmap out of lockdown.

"Councils continue to work closely with local businesses to help high streets reopen safely and successfully again from April 12 and, particularly in visitor hotspots, prepare for an increase in visitors.

"We urge Government to work closely with local government on any proposals for Covid-19 status certification. They are likely to bring significant implications for councils, particularly with regards to licensing, enforcement and support to venues and businesses who would have to use them.

"Councils can therefore provide vital insight into how the scheme can work best in practice, consider equalities implications and links to vaccine confidence.

"Rapidly targeting local outbreaks will be crucial in our continuing fight against coronavirus and the expansion of testing to all adults will play a valuable part in this.

"Councils will continue to use their unique knowledge and connections with their communities to reach out to areas where they are most needed.

"While we all look forward with huge hope of a return to our normal way of life, the responsibility is on us all to test ourselves regularly, share our contacts on request and self-isolate when required to keep case rates as low as possible."