OPINION - Governments Lose Patience With Their Unvaxxed

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  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019
 (West End Final)
(West End Final)

Today’s top stories run the gamut from tube strikes to antisemitism and royal intrigue. Despite Covid, some things never change.

In fact, it feels like there’s a lot of déjà vu around this afternoon. We’ve had the usual chaotic Covid messaging from the Government, this time on Christmas parties.

In the last few days, the advice has ranged from don’t socialise when you don’t need to (Dr Jenny Harries), to socialise when you want to (Boris Johnson), to go out but get tested beforehand (Sajid Javid) and now maybe you should have your Christmas party over Zoom (George Freeman).

On social media, people have been mocking the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree for looking a little bare (I’m sure this complaint pops up every year and it looks fine in the end.)

And speaking of annual events, the chief executive of Pfizer is suggesting we’ll need annual Covid vaccines to keep immunity high. Though if that sounds like an imposition, bear in mind that only one in four African health workers are fully vaccinated against the virus and just five of the continent’s 54 nations are projected to hit the year-end target of fully vaccinating 40% of their people.

If there is a Covid theme today, perhaps it is western governments running out of patience with their unvaccinated populations. From Greece introducing fines for the unvaccinated to Germany banning them from most businesses, Omicron may be the variant that tips the balance in Europe away from individual and fully towards group rights.

Elsewhere in the paper, Met Commissioner Cressida Dick has rejected calls for a zero murder target in London within 10 years, saying it is not “a realistic target.”

In the comment pages, Andy Burnham writes that levelling down London in order to level up the North would be beyond vindictive.

Meanwhile, I argue that we should tax the unvaxxed like we do booze, cigarettes and sugar.

And finally, booby traps, endless mac ‘n’ cheese and tarantulas. For one night only, Airbnb is offering you the chance to live out your childhood festive fantasy with an overnight stay in the original Home Alone house.

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