WHO expert calls on nations to 'work together' to fight coronavirus
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a trial of a coronavirus vaccine passport system across the UK as early as next month. Reports suggested the pilot schemes, which will allow people to go into venues, will begin when the NHS Covid app is updated.
But the idea of vaccine passports have been attacked by former Brexit Party MEP Rupert Lowe who dubbed the concept as an “insult to personal liberty”.
Mr Lowe tweeted: “Vaccine passports are an insult to personal liberty.
“If there is sufficient support via crowdfunding, I will help fund and co-ordinate an appropriate legal challenge.
“I hope there would be significant support out there.
“We can’t accept this without a fight.”
On Easter Monday, the results of an interim study, heading by Michael Gove, will be published and is set to look into the feasibility of vaccine certificates.
The Prime Minister will give updates of its results on the same day.
Following Mr Johnson’s announcement, more than 40 Tory MPs joined a cross-party campaign against the use of Covid passports.
Former Cabinet ministers including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, Esther McVey, Andrew Mitchell and Sir John Redwood signed the pledge along with a string of senior opposition figures.
Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers and a signatory to the pledge, said: “Covid-status certification would be divisive and discriminatory.
“With high levels of vaccination protecting the vulnerable and making transmission less likely, we should aim to return to normal life, not to put permanent restrictions in place.”
Sir Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat leader and MP for Kingston and Surbiton, described the scheme as “unworkable and illiberal”.
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Sir Keir Starmer, Labour leader and MP for Holborn and St Pancras, warned his party could oppose the “un-British” plan.
Steve Baker, Tory MP for Wycombe and deputy chairman of the COVID Recovery Group, said certificates would be “unthinkable”.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson predicted proof of vaccination was “definitely” going to be needed for international travel in the coming months.
Mr Johnson hinted some form of certification to verify a customer’s Covid antibody status would be used for access to entertainment venues.
He said: “There’s definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports.
“You can see already that other countries, the aviation industry, are interested and there’s a logic to that.
“I think when it comes to trying to make sure that we give maximum confidence to businesses and customers in the UK, there are three things – there’s immunity, whether you have had it before so you have natural antibodies, whether you have been vaccinated, and of course whether you have had a test.
“Those three things working together will be useful for us as we go forward.”
Currently, the roadmap out of lockdown is contingent on vaccines successfully driving down the rates of infection in England.
The UK has administered 35,660,902 doses of coronavirus vaccine, of which 31,147,444 are first, equal to 46.6 percent of the country, and 4,513,458 are second.
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