It appears as though the government is once again trying to sidestep parliament to implement Covid-19 vaccine passports despite the measure already being dismissed the first time it was suggested.
Previously, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid said that some policies – particularly vaccine passports – shouldn’t be enforced just because other countries and governments are approving them.
The original plan, which was set to be introduced by the end of September, was heavily criticised by the public and some Members os Parliament. Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zawidi defended the measure, claiming that using vaccine passports was the best way to keep nightclubs open.
If approved, the plan would have seen the British public having to provide proof of double vaccination, a negative covid test, or finish self-isolating after a positive PCR test before they could enter clubs and other large events.
The suggestion for jab passports came from the Liberal Democrats, although, leader Ed Davey said that the proposed papers were “divisive, unworkable and expensive.”
Javid added that he himself was against the notion of asking people to show their papers before they could be allowed to “do what is just an everyday activity.” After review, he said that, for now, the idea of jab passports is rejected, but still being kept as a “backup” option.
However, despite claims from Javid that the government are not backtracking on the potential policy, it seems like the government are seeking to introduce vaccine passports as part of its winter response to the coronavirus.
Under “Plan B”, vaccine passports will allegedly form a “first-line [defence]” against a winter wave of infections even though they proved ineffective in Israel. The government has also claimed that the proposal will allow more businesses and venues to open aside from “nightclubs, music venues, outdoor festivals, concerts and sports events.”
If the policy is introduced, the government will require vaccine passports for these venues and events:
- All nightclubs and other venues open after 1am with alcohol, music and dancing
- Indoor events with 500 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to stand and mix to a significant degree, or move around during the event, such as music venues or large receptions
- Outdoor, crowded settings with 4,000 or more attendees where those attendees are likely to stand, or move around during the event, such as outdoor festivals
- Any settings with 10,000 or more attendees, such as large sports and music stadia
The government states that it “hopes that it would not be necessary to mandate vaccine certification more widely than these settings, though as the Autumn and Winter Plan explained this cannot be entirely ruled out.”
If mandatory certification is introduced, however, the government will be seeking every person aged 18 or over “providing services in venues where certification would be expected” to either be:
- Fully vaccinated
- Exempt (for medical reasons, or as a result of clinical trial participation in a Covid-19 vaccine trial)
- Undertaking regular, supervised testing
Some settings will be exempt from the passport scheme, including communal worship, funerals and other commemorative events.
Since the government is aware that it may have trouble getting the passport system approved through a Parliamentary vote, it has launched a “public consultation” to garner more support for the oppressive policy. As the government is refusing to commit to a vote, the majority of respondents view the move as part of an effort to circumvent Parliament.
It’s only a matter of time before these vaccine passports are introduced and forced upon the British public. It will be surprising to see whether the media even covers the restrictions.
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