COVID-19: Reopening nightclubs 'immoral and unethical', warns Independent SAGE expert

·2-min read

Reopening nightclubs is "immoral and unethical" as it will mean more coronavirus cases, hospitalisations and deaths, an expert has warned.

Public health physician Dr Gabriel Scally, who sits on the Independent SAGE panel, suggested the government decided to open clubs on 19 July to try to achieve so-called "herd immunity" by more people getting infected.

"I think it's justifiable to open nightclubs but only if you believe this government policy that it's good to have infection, and it's good to have illness, and it's good to have death during the summer rather than trying to prevent or postpone those into later in the year," he tweeted.

"So there is a case for it, but that case is immoral and unethical."

Less than 48 hours after club doors reopened this week, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi announced that people will have to be fully jabbed to enter them by the end of September.

Mr Zahawi claimed that by that time all over-18s will have been given the chance to have both COVID vaccines - therefore proof of a negative test will "no longer be sufficient".

While ministers hailed it as an incentive for young people to get the jab, businesses claimed it will hamper their trade.

Elsewhere, another expert warned against the government easing isolation rules for key workers, despite hundreds of thousands being "pinged" by the NHS app every week.

This week the government announced that emergency workers, as well as members of supermarket and other food supply chains, will be exempt from isolating if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case.

These rules will be extended to all those who are fully-vaccinated on 16 August.

But Dr Zubaida Haque, who is also on the Independent SAGE board that scrutinises the government, said the move will also "result in more infections".

"The government are adding fuel to the fire instead of addressing the real problem - v high cases + NO restrictions," she tweeted on Saturday.

She claimed that the government is forcing the public to choose between being vaccinated or catching COVID-19, adding: "Johnson's government have given up trying to keep 48% of the population who are not fully protected."

Ministers have insisted the vaccine rollout has "severed the link" between contracting COVID and getting seriously ill from the virus.

Deaths have slowly crept up in recent weeks and are nearing 100 a day.

But on Friday cases fell for the third day in a row, and were 15,000 fewer than the week before.

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