A number of local residents have contacted me over the last few weeks, regarding their view on COVID-19 passports, and more specifically, their use domestically.
Since the announcement was made that the Government may be considering the use of COVID-19 passports within the UK, I have carefully considered my position on this matter, taking into account the views and opinions expressed to me by constituents (whether that be via letter, email, social media or via my survey), as well as the latest COVID-19 data.
Throughout this time, it has become clear that whilst people were generally supportive of the use of COVID-19 passports for foreign travel, or within the NHS for those engaging with the severely ill, there is an overwhelming rejection of the use of COVID-19 passports to attend large scale events, pubs and other hospitality venues, places of worship, or university education.
I share my constituents concerns that when it comes to the more ordinary things in life, such as visiting a large public event or a nightclub, where most attendees will be young, health, and less likely to become significantly ill from COVID-19, and the benefits of such a domestic passport policy are less clear cut.
Similarly, the deleterious effect on civil liberties are also deeply worrying, and I for one do not wish to live in a country of checkpoints, with officials asking “papers please” at every turn. A creeping officialdom seeking to exert ever more control over our lives is not the sign of a healthy society and the march back to normality needs to continue.
In addition to this, over the course of the last few months, it has been fantastic to see the significant uptake of the COVID-19 vaccine amongst the elderly and most vulnerable in our society, despite the attempts of conspiracy theorists to spread disinformation about its safety.
The path forward, I believe, is clear - an overwhelming 'Yes!' to vaccines, and an overwhelming 'No!' to the overweening officialdom, paperwork, and bureaucracy that would inevitably be brought by internal Covid passports.