Are vaccine passports a good idea?
Steve Allen, comedian
- Credit: PA Images
I, like many, have been aching for the hospitality sector to reopen. Not just because it would be nice to eat food that I haven’t cooked - aka burned - but a big slice of my career depends on it.
One idea that could help the entertainment venues come back is the vaccine passport. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has suggested a trial of a certificate scheme - but the idea of having to carry your papers with you seems hard to accept.
Other MPs had previously called such an idea divisive and discriminatory. It would be divisive by its nature. The purpose of the scheme would be to divide people into two groups, those who are safe from Covid-19 and those who aren’t and let the safe group go and have some hospitality.
Is it discriminatory? I suppose there is reverse ageism. If you’re over 70 you are far more likely to have had your jab than someone under 30. Do we correct this discrimination by making sure that no age group gets to go out?
If they brought this plan in, I wouldn’t be able to get a vaccine passport but I would rather walk by the Atik filled with pensioners having a great time than walk by a closed-down business just so that I can feel it’s fair.
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It still doesn’t get us around the issue of Big Brother’s interference. Some say they don’t want restaurants knowing all of their medical information.
I don’t think it would all be on the certificate. You won’t see a maître d' say: “I can see you have had the jab but we may have to seat you nearer the toilets with what you have.”
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Whether you like the idea or not, don’t worry, it’s an IT job that the government would have to sort. It’ll never get done in time.