During a recent press conference, the Prime Minister endorsed the idea of a vaccine passport as “a sensible one” before government documents later supported Boris Johnson’s assertion that they “could play a role in reducing social-distancing requirements”.
But the announcement has created a fiery political debate, with Labour fiercely opposing the introduction of a vaccine passport.
Civil rights groups, politicians and some business owners have argued that vaccine passports in post-Covid UK would divide the population into the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’, with the result that the unvaccinated would be ostracised to the fringes of society.
However, Pimlico Plumbers founder and CEO Charlie Mullins, London’s best known plumber, thinks the idea that a vaccine passport would create a two-tier society “completely illogical,” given that the government has already vaccinated more than 30m people, and plans to offer all adults a jab by the end of July were on target.
“I get it that there are people who don’t like vaccines, but they’re the only weapon we have, and we must use them to their full effect to re-start our society and economy,” Mullins told City A.M. today.
“There is no financial barrier stopping people from being vaccinated, but if businesses are forced to open with restricted capacity due to Covid distancing rules then prices will rise, especially eating out and entertainment.”
“If we let this happen now, that really would really make for a two-tiered world of the old fashion type, based on how much money people have,” Mullins said.
Gap between rich and poor
The Covid pandemic has increased the gap between rich and poor, Mullins continued, “and not using vaccine passports to allow businesses to re-open and run at something close to full capacity will only make that worse,” he said.
“So, as far as I can see, it’s a case of carry a card, or digital pass, or face losing thousands of restaurants, or pay 100 quid for a burger and chips.”
Mullins stressed “it’s time to face the facts, desperate times call for desperate measures.”
“People are starting to come around to the idea that things have changed and the fastest and best way of getting things moving again is to temporarily get behind the idea of vaccine passports or digital certification for the good of all,” he concluded.