Labour opposition could scupper vaccine passport plans

22 July 2021 by
Labour opposition could scupper vaccine passport plans

Plans to make Covid certification mandatory from September for nightclubs and 'crowded venues' could be scuppered should Labour vote against it in the House of Commons.

Seventy-nine MPs have joined a cross-party campaign to oppose Covid-status certificates, including 43 Conservative MPs.

A Labour spokesperson said: "We need to see the detail of what the government puts forward regarding vaccine passports. We oppose the use of Covid vaccination status for everyday access to venues and services. It's costly, open to fraud and is impractical. Being double-jabbed doesn't prove you aren't carrying the virus. Testing for access to venues would be more efficient, and would give people and businesses more certainty."

The Liberal Democrats have already confirmed they will be opposing the measure. Spokesperson for home affairs Alistair Carmichael described the measure as "unworkable, expensive and divisive" and said it would place "a huge, unfair burden" on businesses.

He added: "If the government actually wanted to help businesses at this time, they should be ramping up testing capacity and providing support to help venues improve their ventilation – not clobbering them with more unworkable bureaucracy."

The vote is not expected to take place until September.

Despite making the announcement on Monday, the government is yet to clarify what will constitute a "crowded venue" and whether the measure could be extended to other hospitality venues.

At the time, Boris Johnson said: "I certainly don't want to see passports for pubs". However, he added that the government "reserves a right to do what's necessary to protect the public".

Just two weeks before announcing the measure, both the health secretary and prime minister said that ‘vaccine passports' would not be required to enter hospitality venues after a review into Covid-status certification recommended that the government abandon the idea. The report said it would "place new burdens and costs on those industries which have already suffered significantly", would have a "serious impact on businesses and individuals" and could even infringe rights and be discriminatory.

Industry bosses have described the measure as "unworkable" as well as "completely impractical and open to fraud and abuse".

Photo: by Colin Lloyd on Unsplash

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