"Orwell must be turning in his grave” – Readers react to Boris Johnson floating the idea of vaccine passports for pubs

Earlier this week, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that pubs could require vaccine passports to allow punters in — much to the consternation of many.

Friday, 26th March 2021, 4:21 pm
Updated Friday, 26th March 2021, 4:24 pm

He did follow up by saying that 'it may be up to individual publicans' and a government source has said that simply showing an up-to-date negative test result was also being looked out. So… we asked our readers what they thought and this is what they had to say:"It's not fair on pub management and staff to enforce it. Apart from the extra staff needed to check, there would be all kinds of trouble denying people access” said Jean Hepplestone. And, Michele Brooks responded saying; “I 100% agree it’s been hard enough to get the people to do track and trace and the amount of abuse I got for enforcing the rule of 6 and not letting people walk around and talk to others. Had to call the police as people getting aggressive.”

However, Joanne Angela says; “Fine. I really can't see what the problem is. It's still early days and safety must come first in my opinion. If you don't like it.. Get the jab. If you can't have the jab for medical reasons then you should be exempt and still be permitted entry with evidence.” But Gemma Louise Snedden didn’t agree; “Comply or no pint, nah.” And, Cally Allen responded, saying; “totally disagree. The government want to implement this they should make the vaccine mandatory. Its completely take peoples choice off them! My husband wouldn't be able to get a vaccine till at least July thats only his first, so are you telling me after working the whole pandemic and following guidance he can't have a pint and enjoy himself because he hasn't had the jab yet. Its a shocking idea.”

“Do we really want to live in a police state? We don't even carry identity cards, thank goodness, and we don't have to prove that we have been vaccinated against any other illness so why is this necessary?” mulls Alison Foster, who questioned the ethics of the whole idea.

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CARDIFF, WALES - DECEMBER 04: A worker covers up beer taps in the Borough pub on December 4, 2020 in Cardiff, Wales. Following a firebreak period that ran from October 23 to November 9 the Welsh Government have introduced new rules which will prevent pubs, restaurants and cafes from selling alcohol at any time from 6pm on Friday. The rules will be reviewed on December 17. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Keith Sallabank says; “No, it's unfair. And most people working behind the bar may be too young, and not had the vaccine twice themselves!”

John Sanderson however, feels that it is all media bluster, despite the PM stating it on record; “Will go the same way as national ID cards. It is a non-story. Press are sensationalising an "off the cuff" response to a question in a committee meeting yesterday from an opposition MP criticising the government which wants to ease lockdown restrictions” — hopefully you’re right. Laura Allender said; “I think it's fine as long as they dont enforce it until everyone has had the chance to have it.”

Andrew Dickerson replied (rather saliently, may we add) saying; “if you exclude unvaccinated people from pubs the vast majority of pubs will have no staff as as they are at the back of the JCVI queue. Also from an operational perspective it is another strain on the cost of labour as you will have to have somebody constantly checking on admission which is not viable with the multitude of arbitrary draconian restrictions. Plus there is no comment from the government about how it would be compatible legislation such as The Data Protection and Equality Act.” — You’re correct there Andrew, however the report was on what was said… not an opinion. It is an idea that has been publicly floated and then reported on, that’s all. But we do not disagree with what you say either, it would be rather silly (and unethical to implement until the vaccination program is completed or before the first jab has occurred. Perhaps a negative test result would be a better option? But charging for a PCR test to get into a pub would be a nightmare in of itself. Would it not?

Martin Hague said; “Orwell must be turning in his grave.”

Marion Manterfield responded, saying; “To be honest I don’t think I would mind! I have had both vaccines. But I doubt we will ever be free of this Virus anyway!! I think it’s our new way of life for the foreseeable future unfortunately whatever the Government decides!” And, Sarah Louise Hemmings pointed out that; “it would discriminate against those that can’t have the vaccine due to medical conditions and those that haven’t already been offered the vaccine.”

Meanwhile Stephen Porter put for forward his thoughts; “When ever I see this, I think who the fudge is working in these pubs. Most bar staff and kitchen staff are under 40. They're not getting a vaccine any time soon and it's gonna be really expensive for daily testing” — and you’re not wrong there, at all. Kerrie Roebuck added; “As long as it’s brought in when everyone of every age has been offered it then fine. Im sure it will be at the Pub owners discretion” — I’m not a gambling man, but I’d put money on the fact that landlords wouldn’t be very happy about the idea at all.

Finally Chris James questioned the money motives of this; “How much would these passports cost? And would we pay directly, or through our taxes - also, will it be cost effective.....like our world beating track and trace system that is greatly coveted by the rest of the world.”

The Prime Minister’s words have certainly caused a rippled (and split) effect with regards to the response with some people being more than happy to provide proof, others questioned the ethics of it all and some were fine with it — as long as the vaccine program was completed in full before this requirement kicks in (if ever at all).

You can read the full discussion here.

Here’s the link to the original article that started the discussion: