‘Asking permission to be free!’ Claire Fox condemns Boris Johnson’s Covid vaccine passport
Vaccine passports: Claire Fox criticises concept
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Claire Fox, the former Brexit Party MEP, said the scheme was essentially “asking permission to be free”. Speaking to talkRADIO, Baroness Fox said she was in favour of a vaccine passport for foreign travel but said an internal jab passport was wrong. Her scathing undressing of the plans come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be close to approving a “vaccine certification” as he looks to reduce Covid restrictions and reopen the economy, despite kickback from 72 MPs on the idea.
Baroness Fox said: “It really brings to the fore this idea that we’re having to ask for permission to be free.
“’Show your papers’ is a notion that in order to participate fully in society, you will have had to have done something else other than to just be a citizen.”
She added a precedent has been set in the past with vaccine certificates to travel to certain countries but an internal jabs passport to visit pubs and other venues was too far.
She said: “Internal passports, and although they’re calling them ‘freedom passes’ or certification, is a whole different ballgame.”
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Baroness Fox stressed, despite her words, she was a “real enthusiast for the vaccine” adding: “I’m almost zealously advocating it.”
But she clarified: “It doesn’t matter whether I have had the vaccine, I want the vaccine because it protects me and it protects other people around.
“It’s an act of social solidarity that you would take the vaccine.”
She said this was “not the same as a formal situation” where people could be “excluded from any part of society for not having it.”
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Baroness Fox’s comments come as Mr Johnson was set to announce a UK trial of a coronavirus vaccine passport system “starting next month” despite MPs across all parties branding plans divisive.
The Prime Minister is expected to lay out proposals for the trial on Easter Monday.
Theatres and stadiums will be the first locations to test the scheme with pubs, restaurants, nightclubs and cinemas potentially taking it up later on.
Those who have been vaccinated will be able to update details on the NHS Covid app allowing venues to see proof visitors have been jabbed.
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Monday will also see the results published from an interim study into vaccine passports by Michael Gove.
Gove’s study looks into the feasibility of vaccine certificates.
And from April 12, the FA Cup final, an FA Cup semi-final, the League Cup final and the World Snooker Championships will be events as the scheme is piloted.
Reports suggest the pilot schemes will begin when the NHS Covid app is updated.
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