Papers Please! Faced with Freedom, Britons Want Domestic Vax Passports

An illustration picture shows a smartphone screen displaying a Covid-19 vaccine record on the National Health Service (NHS) app in London on May 18, 2021. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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The United Kingdom is on the verge of emerging from lockdown, but faced with the prospect of greater freedom in the coming weeks a poll claims a strong majority of Britons want to keep the movements of unvaccinated countrymen restricted.

A significant 71 per cent of Britons support “requiring COVID-19 passports for admission to large events in the UK”, a poll claimed, with just 20 per cent against apparently banning the unvaccinated from some public places.

Despite the high level of interest in vaccine passports, when it comes to whether a large event requiring vaccine proof would impact an individual’s decision to attend, the lines are cut less clearly. A combined 47 per cent said they would be more likely to go if the venue were asking for vaccine paperwork, while 43 per cent said it would not impact their decision, or they would be less likely to go.

The snap poll findings — based on a survey of fewer than 2,000 respondents — come days after it was claimed the plan to introduce domestic vaccine passports had been effectively dropped by the government, allegedly on grounds of practicality and ethical concerns.

The government has vacillated wildly on domestic vaccine passports in recent months, promising Britons would never need to show health paperwork to enter a pub in 2020, before u-turning on that in early 2021. This was in turn also u-turned on by April of this year.

The findings come from YouGov — one of the UK’s largest pollsters which was founded by Britain’s now-Conservative vaccines minister — which has consistently found in its polls that people in the UK support more, and harsher, coronavirus lockdown measures. Two-thirds of Britons also plan to continue wearing masks through the summer after lockdown requirements end, if the pollster’s findings are to be believed.

Beyond discussions of what may happen after lockdown ends, perhaps the most closely fought battle in Westminster now is whether it will end at all. While the June 21st date remains in place and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has today said there is “nothing in the data” to support pushing it back, there has been what at least one critic has called a concerted push between some scientists and Britain’s mainstream media to keep lockdown in place.

There has been some pushback against the third wave doomsday predictions, however, with Regius professor of medicine at the University of Oxford, Sir John Bell saying he is encouraged by the latest data. On whether the UK should stick to lockdown even as coronavirus deaths hit zero because of new virus variants, Sir John told the BBC: “If we scamper down a rabbit hole every time we see a new variant we are going to spend a long time huddled away so we do need to keep a bit of balance to the discussion and keep our eyes on the serious disease that we are trying to prevent.”


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