UK Covid passports – who’s for and who’s against?

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Sumary of UK Covid passports – who’s for and who’s against?:

  • One of the most significant political controversies of the coronavirus period is likely to be over the idea of Covid “passports”.
  • Other ways people could prove they were safe to mingle would be a sufficiently recent test showing significant Covid antibodies, or a very recent negative test for the virus..
  • The government is still looking into the idea of Covid certificates for a range of possible activities, covering mass get-togethers such as sports events and concerts, crowded venues including theatres, cinemas and nightclubs, and even more everyday places such as pubs and many shops..
  • Centred on the Covid Recovery Group (CRG) of Tory backbenchers, at least 40 Conservative MPs have signed up to a campaign against Covid certification, backed also by a variety of civil liberties groups..
  • The CRG has been pushing more generally for lockdown restrictions to be lifted sooner than planned given the speed of the UK vaccine rollout, and is extremely wary of most of the ideas based around Covid certificates..
  • In a comment piece for the Daily Telegraph last week, the Lib Dem leader, Ed Davey, likened Covid certificates to ID cards, saying they were “illiberal, unworkable and would be utterly ineffective in keeping people safe from Covid”..
  • Among the MPs who have signed up to the campaign against the plan are a number of Labour backbenchers from the left of the party, including Jeremy Corbyn – officially he remains an independent MP after the party whip was suspended – Rebecca Long-Bailey and Clive Lewis..
  • It is possible that some or all of the MPs from the various parties could be more amenable to systems such as obliging people going to a mass sports event to take a Covid test before they go in, as a one-off condition..
  • Keir Starmer laid the groundwork for this by saying in an interview with the Covid certificate-wary Daily Telegraph that he believed the “British instinct”.
  • A report by the Royal Society in February concluded that even purely vaccination-based certificates were feasible but would need significant safeguards, both against possible discrimination and to ensure they were not seen as indefinite, given the fact immunity levels could wane…

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