UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants everyone in the UK to prove that they are not infected with coronavirus. Later this morning, he will announce plans for every citizen to take two covid tests a week.
The government will pay for the rapid lateral flow tests. They can be delivered to homes starting this Friday. Johnson will say that the tests are voluntary, but workplaces and businesses might ask workers and customers to show that they’ve passed a test.
The mass testing system may well become part of an official covid certification scheme. It is being proposed that the public should be required to prove they have been vaccinated, show an up-to-date negative test result or prove that they have antibodies from recent infection in order to attend events or venues.
“As we continue to make good progress on our vaccine programme, and with our roadmap to cautiously easing restrictions underway, regular rapid testing is even more important to make sure those efforts are not wasted. That’s why we’re now rolling out free rapid tests to everyone across England – helping us to stop outbreaks in their tracks – so we can get back to seeing the people we love, and doing the things we enjoy.”
I will not have a vaccine and I damn well will not test myself twice a week. Neither will my partner. What will become of us then? Will we be barred from events either indoors or outdoors? Is the theatre off limits, the cinema too?
Will we ever sit down to a meal in a nice restaurant again? Tory backbencher Graham Brady, writing in today’s Telegraph, says this:
“At the beginning of last year, patient confidentiality was a sacred principle and the idea that other people could inspect our medical records was anathema, now the state is contemplating making us divulge our Covid status as a condition of going to the pub or cinema…..
we should be vigilant in defence of liberty, (and) where the state has reached too far into our lives, we should kick it out. No government in future should have the power to tell you whether you can see your children or grandchildren, nor should it be able to force you to publish your medical records as a condition for living a normal life.”
Nobody gets to tell me that I should prove that I am not infected in order to go about my business. I’ll be burning the testing kits, should they be pushed through my letterbox.