Following today’s news about vaccine passports:

Steve Baker MP said,

I’m alarmed by the present lack of clarity about vaccine passports as well as the poor level of communication by Government on what is a highly sensitive subject.

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister, told me categorically on the record in December that ‘mandating vaccinations is discriminatory and completely wrong’, he ‘urge[d] businesses listening to this today not to even think about this’ and said there were ‘absolutely no plans for vaccine passports’.

It’s one thing to document the administration of a vaccine, which is essential, and if other countries require proof of certain vaccinations to visit, that is their choice.

However, if British citizens wish to refuse to take a vaccine, they should be free to do so without suffering discrimination and losing their liberty at home. And their decision not to have a vaccine should not result in the rest of us having to live under cycles of damaging lockdowns and restrictions. People must carry individually the risks which arise from their own decisions.

Our country must never allow people to be required to prove vaccination status to enter a restaurant for example. We must never become a country where our Government turns a blind eye to discrimination by businesses on the basis of people’s health status – something the vaccines minister specifically ruled out.

We urgently need clarity from Government on this issue. Vaccination passports run the risk of striking at the very heart of vaccinations being voluntary: our vaccination status must not determine our ability to live freely in our democracy.”

Press release by Steve Baker MP, Deputy Chairman of the Covid Recovery Group

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