The Vaccines Minister insisted vaccine passports will not be imposed on “essential services” in a clash with MPs today but refused to rule out their introduction at pubs and restaurants. The Sun has the story.
Nadhim Zahawi defended the introduction of vaccine passports which he said would “reduce transmission and serious illness”.
Boris Johnson is already facing a major rebellion over the plans, with more than 50 Tories expected to mutiny.
Covid papers will be needed to enter nightclubs and other large indoor venues from later this month.
Mr. Zahawi didn’t rule out their use becoming more widespread.
He sparred with raging MPs during a heated debate at the Commons Constitutional Affairs Committee.
The vaccines minister was pressed by Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner on where people will have to show Covid papers.
He replied: “I can assure her that there are some essential services which will not need for people to show Covid vaccine certification.
“These settings that have stayed open throughout the pandemic, such as public sector buildings, essential retail, essential services and public transport.”
Mr. Zahawi insisted it “pains” him to introduce vaccine passports and it’s a decision “we do not take lightly”.
He said it is “something that goes against the DNA of this minister and his PM but we are living through difficult times, unprecedented times”. …
But fuming Tory MPs lined up to angrily denounce the Government’s plans.
William Wragg accused the minister of talking “a load of rubbish” and said he was trying to “defend the indefensible”. …
Mark Harper, Chairman of the Covid Research Group, said vaccine passports are “a pointless policy with damaging effects”.
He added: “I’m afraid the Minister is picking an unnecessary fight with his own colleagues. I say to him the Government should think again.”
Worth reading in full.