Vaccine passport fury: Tory MP slates plan as ‘silly measure’ – Boris under pressure

Vaccine passports: Expert discusses 'schemes'

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The Prime Minister is set to confirm plans for a “Covid status certification” scheme to enable the safe return of mass gatherings and indoor events in England. The Government has already announced nine trial events, including the FA Cup semi-final, where spectators will need to take a COVID-19 test before and after the event.

More than 40 Conservative MPs have signed a letter publicly opposing the use of vaccine passports – include former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

Former Brexit Secretary David Davis says the use of vaccine passports risks undermining the freedoms of the British people.

The influential backbench MP added the idea the scheme could stop new coronavirus variants from emerging is “nonsense”.

Speaking to LBC radio, Mr David said: “It is really rather hard to see what the purpose of this test is. It is very different from anything we have done in Britain outside wartime.

“We are not used to presenting papers – or the electronic equivalent – to go to the pub or to go to a football match.

“That is not what we think of our freedoms.

“Once you have got the population to above about 70 percent vaccinated then you have got herd immunity. So it is very difficult to see what they are trying to stop.

“The idea that we’d somehow stop variants by this rather silly measure in Britain alone is nonsense.”

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has also questioned the use of vaccine passports and signalled his party could oppose the measures.

Earlier this week, he said: “My instinct is that, as the vaccine is rolled out, as the number of hospital admissions and deaths go down, there will be a British sense that we don’t actually want to go down this road.”

Ministers see the scheme a key to opening up more events, including festivals and nightclubs, with either digital or paperwork certificates required by revellers.

At this stage public transport, retail, pubs and restaurants will be exempt from the scheme.

Mr Johnson will reveal more details about vaccine passports at a coronavirus press conference on Monday.

Mr Johnson has previously acknowledged “there is going to be a role” for such schemes.

A vaccine passport is set to be made up of three factors, they include whether an individual has received a jab, completed a negative COVID-19 test, or has natural immunity to the virus following a previous positive test within the last six months.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has led a taskforce involved in the plans and acknowledged it raised “a host of practical and ethical questions” which needed to be resolved.


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But, he stressed the need for the Government to take control to stop firms and venues going rogue.

He told The Sunday Telegraph: “These questions aren’t easy to resolve but I don’t think we can duck them.

“Unless the Government takes a lead we risk others establishing the rules of the road.”

The first trial is due to take place on April 16 at the Hot Water Comedy Club in Liverpool with an audience of 300, this will be followed two days later by the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley with a crowd of 4,000.

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