The Health Secretary says vaccine passport checks could be imposed on pubs if “something happens that means that we have to take further measures” but continues to dodge the question of what exactly “something” means. The Times has the story.
The Government will refuse to set a specific threshold when action is to be taken but ministers are understood to be considering publishing a list of indicators.
Javid said that such measures were being monitored “on a daily basis”, with the NHS and the Joint Biosecurity Centre involved. He told the BBC that “there won’t be any single trigger”. He 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.”
Javid refused to rule out compulsory certification for everyday life, alarming many Tory backbenchers who have branded the Government’s plan “a slippery slope towards more restrictions”.
Ministers believe that as a last resort vaccine passports are preferable to lockdown measures and could be a way to keep open hospitality businesses.
Javid told the radio station LBC that he didn’t think the country would need vaccine passports to go to the pub. He added a caveat, however: “Unless… something happens that means that we have to take further measures.”
He said that contingency plans “may well include vaccine passports as a reserve measure”. He cited a new variant that was more infectious or vaccine resistant, saying “in that situation, we have to be ready to take further action”. …
On Tuesday Johnson said that he had “never been in favour of vaccine passports for pubs” but that they might have been a “game changer” last year.
“It’s just not sensible to rule out completely this kind of option now when we must face the fact that it might still make the difference between keeping business open at full capacity or not,” he told a Downing Street press conference.
“If you think a year ago, where we were last September, can you imagine if we’d had then . . . if we’d had Covid certification?
“We would have been able, with that tool, to keep open businesses that had been forced to close and were going through an absolutely wretched time. They would’ve been a game changer, a lifesaver, last year. So I think they’re an important part of our repertoire.”
Worth reading in full.