UK Health Secretary Rules out Vax Passes by Not Ruling out Vax Passes at All

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 07: Charles Douglas Barr enjoys a pint outside The Last Drop pub in the Grassmarket on October 7, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that pubs and restaurants across the country's central belt, including Edinburgh and Glasgow, will close from Friday at …
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Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid ruled out domestic vaccines passports for pubs “unless… something happens”.

Government ministers have vacillated wildly on the introduction of vaccine passports for domestic usage in the past ten months, but rarely have they done so within the same breath.

Asked directly by LBC’s Nick Ferrari on Thursday: “Are we going to see vaccine passports to go to the pub, Secretary of State?”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid responded: “No. I don’t believe we are.

Unless — and that’s why I do want to caveat, I want to be straight with your listeners, as I always am — something happens that means that we have to take further measures, then we will.

“That may well include vaccine passports as a reserve measure.”

On Tuesday, the health secretary laid out “Plan B” measures that could be brought in if the pandemic is deemed to have worsened over Winter, including the mask mandate, work-at-home orders, and the introduction of vaccine passports.

Javid told the BBC on Wednesday that “there won’t be any single trigger” to activate Plan B, but added: “There are a number of measures we are going to keep under close watch with our friends in the NHS. That of course includes hospitalisations, it includes the pressure on A&E, on the ambulance services, staffing levels.”

While much media attention had been given during the vaccine passport debate to the question of whether an Englishman can drink in a pub or not without having to show his papers, the issue is more of a fundamental nature of what impediments citizens will accept to engage in everyday activities, many of which are integral to British life.

Likewise, while the former threat of vaccine passports for nightclubs could be brushed off as perhaps a burden to be carried only by the young, British lawmakers have warned that the consequences of their introduction could eventually affect everyone in England.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the introduction of vaccine passports for nightclubs on July 19th — so-called ‘Freedom Day’ — only for the plans to be scrapped weeks before their intended introduction. At least, for now.

Following the prime minister’s initial announcement, the leading Conservative lockdown-sceptic Mark Harper MP, chairman of the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) warned that the move represented the first steps to mandatory inoculation.

“I have to say I don’t welcome the minister’s statement, particularly vaccine passports for crowded venues, which is effectively moving to compulsory vaccination,” Mr Harper had said.

Fellow lockdown-sceptic Sir Desmond Swayne MP made the point that Britons ignore the prospect of vaccine passports for nightclubs at their peril, as they are a “Trojan Horse” for an identity card system — something Liberal Democrats and even Conservatives had fought against since the Tony Blair era.

Sir Desmond said in August: “People see this as an imposition on young people who would want to go to nightclubs, so they think, ‘Oh, well, it’s only them.’ This is an imposition on us all.”

“…for the first time, for most of our population, they will be required to produce some form of proof of vaccination status to go about their lawful business. It is the Trojan Horse for an identity card system. Once you bring in requirements of this sort, they’re very, very difficult to remove,” Swayne added.

Not all of British society had escaped the threat of mandated vaccination, however. Earlier this year, Parliament passed a law mandating the Covid-19 vaccine for care workers and is considering similar measures for the NHS’s 1.3 million frontline staff. With the deadline for care home staff to be vaccinated fast approaching, unions and industry leaders have warned tens of thousands who refuse could lose their jobs, exasperating an ongoing recruitment crisis in the sector.

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