The government is right to consider the limited use of Covid passports.
The hospitality industry, the cultural sector, sport, and airlines have been decimated by the virus and are entitled to as much support as possible, even if it offends some liberal consciences. Workers in pubs, restaurants, festivals, and sports arenas should know that they are operating in a safe working environment.
In the case of care workers, where the current vaccination rate is alarmingly low at 76%, the need for proof of vaccination is vital.
For over a year we have faced restrictions on our basic way of life. People are weary of it and patience is running thin. Even with the latest caveat about blood clots, the vaccination programme has provided a way out of this nightmare that we may well not have had.
The general population cannot be held to ransom by opponents of vaccination. Health documentation has been required for diseases like yellow fever for years. Accommodation must be made for people with genuine issues. Nobody would be barred from public transport, public services along with essential shops.
Pregnant women and people with some medical conditions would have that indicated on the app or document they would present. It is argued they could be infectious, opening a loophole in the passport programme. Nothing is perfect but the numbers would be very small.
I’m afraid people with religious objections, people who don’t trust authorities and particularly people peddling anti vax nonsense are going to have to pay for their beliefs by being excluded from the pleasures of normal life. I know this sounds harsh but, in an age, when minority rights are being acknowledged more and more, this is an issue when the majority must prevail.
The government need to make it clear that a vaccine passport requirement would be kept under constant review with the aim of ending it once the virus is reduced to a manageable minimum worldwide.
Welcome back Louise
It is reported that the former Liverpool Riverside MP and leader of Lancashire County Council, Louise Ellman is considering re-joining the Labour Party.
She resigned in 2019 at the height of the row over anti-Semitism when Jeremy Corbyn was leader. Ellman is cautious, urging Sir Keir Starmer to do more, but her instinct seems to be to re-join. This would provide Labour some good news as it faces a difficult round of local elections for the party.
What is required to win back its natural base is to better represent the concerns of ordinary people instead of a kneejerk reaction to support every minority cause.
I have in mind the withdrawal of an election leaflet by the Warrington North MP Charlotte Nicholls. She had pledged to campaign against traveller incursions into her constituency. Following accusations of racism, she apologised. Why? Most councils have official traveller sites but still people suffer from “travellers” invading open spaces leaving a trail of rubbish and disruption behind them.
This has nothing to do with disrespecting the genuine gypsy community and everything to do with recognising people’s right to a quiet life. Labour should be on their side, not the woke side.