UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC’s Nick Robinson yesterday, that his government has decided to scrap the vaccine passport scheme which was due to be implemented at the end of the month. Javid was telling porkies.
He told Robinson:
“We shouldn’t be doing things for the sake of it. We’ve looked at it properly and, whilst we should keep it in reserve as a potential option, I’m pleased to say that we will not be going ahead with plans for vaccine passports.”
However, The Times reports this morning that:
Downing Street has insisted that vaccine passports are still a “first-line defence” against a winter wave of Covid-19 after the health secretary said plans to introduce them had been scrapped.
No 10 said checks on the vaccine status of people going to nightclubs and other crowded events remained a crucial part of the government’s winter Covid plan due to be unveiled by the prime minister tomorrow.
They haven’t scrapped the scheme, they’ve simply postponed it. Facing a backlash from backbench MP’s and the wrath of night-time industry leaders, the government has decided that the smart move is to row back on vaccine passport plans, for now.
But when the NHS is overwhelmed again this Winter (as it is every Winter), vaccine passports will be back on the table. Hospitality bosses will be told to implement the scheme or face mandatory closure.
Dr. Chand Nagpaul is the chair of the British Medical Association. Today, he will address the BMA’s Annual Representative Meeting. He is expected to deliver a damning assessment of the Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. According to The Telegraph:
Dr Nagpaul will argue that the health service was already in crisis before March 2020, after parts of it had been “starved” by a lack of facilities and almost 90,000 staff vacancies.
The latest NHS England figures show 5.6 million people are now waiting to start treatment, up from 4.2 million in March 2020.
The number of NHS hospital beds in the UK has more than halved in the last 30 years, from around 299,000 in 1988 to 141,000 in 2019.
In 1988, the UK population was 56,812,757. Today it’s 68,207,116. NHS Winter crises are as certain as death and taxes. Now factor in the tens of thousands of staff who will leave the health service (and social care) because they will refuse to be jabbed and you have a perfect storm.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation tomorrow. He will say he that wants to move towards “living with covid as an endemic disease.” He’ll say that he doesn’t want to lockdown again this Winter and that he is diametrically opposed to vaccine passports.
However, the power to reimpose any measure he sees fit will remain on the statute books. Lockdowns, masks and vaccine passports will be back this Winter. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.