Govt Ministers Could Draw Up List of Vaccine Passport-Free Areas: Report

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British government ministers are reportedly considering drawing up a list of “essential” locations where vaccine certificates would not be demanded if the government goes ahead with implementing the documentation.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove is heading a review of vaccine certificates for the next few months, but Prime Minister Boris Johnson is allegedly set to decide on a “high-level direction of travel” on Monday, and that if he believes there could be a future for the documents, the review will continue until mid-June.

According to The Times, figures in government are increasingly taking seriously introducing coronavirus immunity certification, and ministers are reportedly planning on drawing up a list of “essential” venues where vaccine passports would not be needed, including doctors’ offices, hospitals, supermarkets, courts, and police stations.

Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said in December that private businesses may decline service to Britons who cannot prove their immunity, and a February report claimed that ministers were pressuring Johnson to abandon his supposed libertarian objections to vaccine passports, with the prime minister signalling later that month he was ready to U-turn on the matter.

In March, Prime Minister Johnson claimed that vaccine passports for international travel “will be a feature of our life in the future”, and admitted last week that landlords may decide to bar unvaccinated patrons, adding that “the basic concept of vaccine certification should not be totally alien to us”.

The Cabinet Office is also reportedly looking into whether vaccines should be mandatory for certain employment sectors, following reports that frontline healthcare workers and care home staff may be forced to take the vaccines.

Sources close to the Gove review speaking to media last week claimed that scenarios being discussed as those needing “covid status certifications” include certain kinds of workers — such as those that enter homes of members of the public, like plumbers — as well as for a variety of entertainment venues.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage criticised the Conservative government for considering the measures, calling them “unworkable” and criticising the prime minister for lacking principles.

“The funny thing about Boris is, everyone says he is this free-market libertarian. But what we have seen all through this is that Boris doesn’t really stand for very much at all,” Mr Farage observed.

Recently, senior figures on the left-wing of the political spectrum have come out against the idea of vaccine passports.

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, Alistair Carmichael, said on Wednesday that the government should not be trusted with people’s data, and that vaccine passports would be a “fundamental redefinition of the relationship between the citizen and the state”.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said of vaccine certification for domestic use that “we don’t actually want to go down this road”, and that the “British instinct… will be against vaccine passports” if the virus is brought under control.

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