19 May 2022

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Vaccination passports – now the Prime Minster says they are under consideration. What groups of people may be pressing for these?
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Vaccination passports – now the Prime Minster says they are under consideration. What groups of people may be pressing for these?

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People are going to want to feel safe before their confidence in returning to normal life is going to be regained

Now that the Prime Minister has outlined the road map out of covid-19 restrictions, the debate has again turned to the issue of vaccination passports which we have mentioned a number of times now.

The issue is certainly being driven by outside parties. Foreign countries are jumping on the bandwagon and the British government accepts that it has to do something. But with holiday companies, airlines and others also saying that this is something they will introduce into their businesses, it will make it difficult for the public to meet their requests without a concerted effort on the part of the authorities to do something about it.

What would be really undesirable would be for there to be no official system. This would mean that members of the public would be having to come up with their own evidence of vaccination and this is going to be inconsistent and open to forgery. Surely the British government would not like to be responsible for such a lack of control in our “well ordered” society?

The Prime Minister pointed out that this would be something completely new for the British, a very good point, and that there would be ethical side issues and consequences. The issues are indeed far reaching – should people lose their jobs if they do not get vaccinated? Should people be refused new jobs on the same grounds? Which areas of business would have justifiable reason to say that a vaccination certificate could matter for workers or customers?

There will have to be consultation if government is to go along with all of this and different parties will have to put their points of view and ordinary people and businesses will also need to be consulted because it is the needs of the public which are important here – the public needs protecting now that the demolishing of the covid-19 restrictions are more than just a twinkle in the eye.

The Prime Minister made it clear in his statements to parliament and to the public on TV that we shall never be covid free. It is always going to be there in the sidelines. What we have to do is to do our best to live with it and minimise its effects. If that means that conclaves of vaccinated people can meet without social-distancing then it has to be an option on the table and the groups in question must be free to make that decision for themselves.

How this will play out for organisations like fraternal societies and other social groups is uncertain at this stage. Many of these involve membership of older people, the very ones who need the best protection from the virus and given that the vaccination will never be 100% effective, there will always be a need to steer clear of the virus if at all possible.

We have talked about the hospitality industry in this context and there can be no doubt that this is at the highest of risks in terms of covid-19 transmission, pubs and clubs being at the pinnacle of this risk. Although it sounds sad that one might have to produce a vaccination passport or clear test result to gain admission to hospitality premises, how can it be considered other than essential? A vaccination passport could be valid for many months; as time goes by we shall know just how good the resistance is that has been built up. For those who cannot or will not have a vaccination, it may just work for them to have had a clear test within say the past 20 or 30 days. It would be far less convenient for all concerned but it would be an option which could avoid the accusation of illegal discrimination.

But we ask again – if you own a pub would you want potentially infectious guests to come in?

We still have many months until 21st June and let us remember that this is an “earliest by” date, not “the” date. Restrictions could be extended at any time if improvements in the position slow down or stop. The present projections on the news were stated this morning to be that there could easily be another 30000 UK deaths before things ease off – that is mega.

So keep observing the rules – it is our best chance of 21st June becoming a reality on that date and you could be one of those pineapples at the party!

Adrian Leopard 23-02-21

Photo Pineapple Supply Co

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