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Minggu, 12 September 2021

Boris Johnson ditches UK's COVID-19 vaccine passport plan under pressure from his own party - ABC News

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scrapping the introduction of vaccine passports, announcing he will set out his plans on Tuesday to manage the COVID-19 pandemic during the colder months.

He will also end some emergency powers granted during the pandemic.

Under fire from some in his governing Conservative Party for raising taxes to fix a health and social care crisis, Mr Johnson looks set to try to soothe those critics by ditching plans to introduce passports, despite an increasing number of coronavirus cases.

The U-turn came just days after the government’s vaccines minister and the culture secretary suggested that vaccine passports would still be necessary, despite growing opposition from politicians.

Such passports are required in other European countries, like France.

Members of the governing Conservative Party have objected to such passports as an unacceptable burden on businesses and an infringement on human rights. 

Britain's Health Secretary talks to the anchor on a BBC talk show in London during an interview on September 12, 2021.
Britain's Health Secretary Sajid Javid backtracks on plans to introduce vaccine passports as cases surge.(

Reuters: Jeff Overs/BBC/Handout

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Health Secretary Sajid Javid said he did not anticipate more lockdowns and that vaccine passports would not be introduced in England, as the government depends instead on vaccines and testing to defend the public.

He told the BBC he was not "anticipating any more lockdowns", but would not take the measure off the table.

He added the government would not go ahead with vaccine passports to allow people to attend mass events.

Industry welcomes the U-turn

Mr Javid added the government would remain "cautious", but "the vaccine programme, our testing programme, our surveillance programme, the new treatments … this is all our wall of defence and whilst there's a lot of virus around, it is working".

The night-time industry welcomed the UK's about-face on vaccine passports.

Michael Kill, the chief executive of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) trade body, said he hoped businesses would be able to "start to rebuild a sector that has consistently been at the sharp end of this pandemic".

Britain, which has one of the world's highest official COVID-19 death tolls, has seen the number of cases climb over the last few months after easing restrictions in July, when the government first bet on vaccines to protect the public.

The government was handed sweeping emergency powers in March 2020, with the introduction of the Coronavirus Act.

It included measures to shut down businesses, to close down sectors of the economy and the right to detain infectious people.

The opposition Labour Party said it agreed it was a "reasonable" approach to take some measures off the statute book, but warned the government that winter could punish the National Health Service (NHS).

Reuters/AP

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2021-09-12 14:06:32Z
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