Covid vaccine passports deny people of freedoms, Boris Johnson warned

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Vaccine passports will be introduced in nightclubs in September (PA Wire)
Vaccine passports will be introduced in nightclubs in September (PA Wire)

Vaccine passports would stop people enjoying their freedoms, Boris Johnson has been warned.

The Prime Minister has unveiled plans to make vaccine passports mandatory in nightclubs from September.

So far Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed the passes would not be needed to go into shops or pubs.

Cabinet ministers apparently warned these so-called passports will infringe upon people’s freedoms.

Among the cabinet ministers, one told the newspaper: “I’m not comfortable with the government being able to use health information to cut off access to certain parts of society...

“It’s not who we are. Once you start doing these things where do you stop? We need to tread very carefully here. There are concerns across the cabinet about denying people their freedoms.”

Another told the newspaper: “My concern is that this is destabilising the party. A carrot approach is far better than a stick approach. We shouldn’t be taking people’s liberties away, we should be encouraging them.”

Watch: COVID-19: Tear gas fired amid clashes at coronavirus vaccine passport protests in Paris

Already Mr Johnson has scrapped plans for university students to get jabs to attend lectures and stay in halls of residence.

The government has strongly encouraged everyone in higher education to get their coronavirus vaccines.

A government spokesperson told The Standard: “Vaccinations are important in helping to keep higher education settings safe for when students return in the autumn term and we strongly encourage all students to take up the offer of both vaccine doses.

“The government currently has no plans to require the use of the NHS Covid Pass for access to learning however universities and FE colleges are encouraged to promote the offer of the vaccine and should continue to conduct risk assessments for their particular circumstances.”

Polling suggested students will take up the vaccine offer with 90% reporting to an ONS survey they would likely to be vaccinated or had already had their jabs.

It comes as lawyers warned of a wave of legal action against UK companies who insist staff are fully vaccinated amid fears around the “no jab, no job” rules policies in the workplace.

Google and Facebook have led US businesses in announcing plans to only allow double-jabbed staff into their offices.

Mr Snapps welcomed it as a “good idea” but he said legislation would not be passed to make it mandatory for everyone to be fully vaccinated before returning to the office.

He said: “We are not going to make that legislation that every adult has to be double vaccinated before they go back to the office, but yes it is a good idea and yes some companies will require it.”

Lawyers and union chiefs warned a blanket approach to mandatory jabs could breach the Equality Act by discriminating against groups including people with disabilities.

“Having a blanket policy is almost always dangerous – it’s fraught with legal difficulties,” Elissa Thursfield, a director at Gamlins Law told The Independent.

“For existing staff, if you don’t have a clause in your contract that says you can receive mandatory instructions on health, which is rare, that’s potentially a breach of contract, as well as the discrimination claims.”

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