Sajid Javid says vaccine passports will be kept as ‘reserve measure’ – ‘Have to be ready’

Sajid Javid says vaccine passports ‘will not be going ahead’

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The Health Secretary told Nick Ferrari on LBC that vaccine passports could be introduced “if something happens that means that we have to take further measures”. Sajid Javid, 51, could not rule out introducing vaccine passports during an appearance on Nick Ferrari’s LBC programme.

The Health Secretary, who replaced Matt Hancock in June, instead suggested jab certificates could be brought in if the spread of COVID-19 worsens.

When asked by the Sunday Express columnist and former assistant editor of the Daily Mirror, if we could see vaccine passports be introduced for pubs, the Health Secretary replied: “No, I don’t believe we are, unless… if something happens that means that we have to take further measures, then we will.

“And that may well include vaccine passports as a reserve measures.”

Mr Javid added: “There may be a new variant that may be infectious, and God forbid, it might be a vaccine-escape variant… In that situation we have to be ready to take further action.”

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The announcement comes after the ex-Chancellor reassured the House of Commons that the Government would not introduce vaccine passports

The day before his appearance on LBC, the Health Secretary responded to the accusation made by his Labour counterpart Jonathan Ashworth that the Government had been “zig-zagging” all over the place.

“I think I have made the Government’s position clear,” Mr Javid said.

“It is not something we are implementing.

“We are not going ahead with any plans for that.”

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister published his “plan B” for winter.

This included proposals to introduce vaccine certification to enter nightclubs, concerts and sports stadiums.

Pubs were not, however, mentioned in the Government’s plans.

According to The Times, ministers are now contemplating whether to set out a list of factors that could be taken into consideration before introducing mandatory mask-wearing, working from home and vaccine passports.

The broadsheet also reports hospital admissions and subsequent pressure on the NHS could be central indicators.

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Signs of jab effectiveness falling, a decrease in vaccine uptake and the emergence of new variants are also being considered.

While ministers believe the introduction of vaccine passports could be a last resort measure to avert the introduction of more draconian lockdown measures, some Conservative backbenchers have expressed their opposition to certification.

Mark Harper, chairman of the Conservatives’ Covid Recovery Group, said: “They shouldn’t be kept in reserve – they are pointless, damaging and discriminatory.”

Current data shows 30,597 people tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and indicates 836 people were admitted to hospital with the virus on September 11.

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