Covid Passports Will Discriminate And Must Be Abolished, MEPs Say | Health policy
Covid passports, which will be used for the first time by sports fans during England’s Euro 2020 game on Sunday, will be “disproportionately discriminatory” on the basis of race, religion, age and location. socio-economic context, concluded a multi-stakeholder committee.
Members of the Committee on Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs (PACAC) said the decision to allow certification, giving people access to events and venues if they test negative for coronavirus or have been vaccinated, could be considered contempt of Parliament.
The damning findings come as English football fans prepare to use the NHS app to show they have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and therefore are at low risk of transmitting the disease before being cleared to enter Wembley Stadium.
William Wragg, the Conservative Chairman of the Committee, said: “We are absolutely not convinced by the arguments in favor of their introduction.
“As statistics on vaccine use indicate, any Covid certification system will be a discriminator based on race, religion and age. Frankly, the government must drop any idea of introducing Covid passports. “
A report released by the committee on Saturday concludes that any certification system would be discriminatory and should be stopped.
“The evidence from vaccination is a clear indication that such a system would likely discriminate disproportionately against people on the basis of race, religion and socio-economic background, as well as on the basis of age due to sequencing of vaccine deployment, ”committee found.
In late April, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced that the NHS app would be used as a Covid passport to give vacationers the freedom to travel abroad to specific ‘green list’ countries.
The committee criticized the government’s decision to make an announcement that preceded investigations by PACAC and the government itself “without informing or consulting parliament”. The decision to go ahead with passports could, MEPs concluded, be seen as contempt of Parliament.
“The policy should have been set before any decision was taken to allow for scrutiny, and the House should have been given the opportunity to vote on the proposals,” the report said.
At the international level, the health ministers of the G7 countries agreed last week on the need to work together to develop “mutual recognition of tests and vaccination certificates in all countries”.
Nationally, a review of the potential use of the certification was due to be released last month, but has been delayed and is now expected as part of Monday’s announcement of the fourth stage of lifting the restrictions.
In evidence for MPs, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove acknowledged that the government was concerned about discrimination due to low vaccination rates in some communities.
“We know that for a variety of reasons, which this committee is familiar with, that vaccine uptake among some communities – especially but not exclusively some BAME communities – was lower, so was there a risk of direct or indirect discrimination? That’s why we wanted to make sure that any form of Covid status certification also allows testing, ”Gove said.
A UK government spokesperson said: ‘We are examining a range of evidence regarding certification of Covid status, including equality and ethics concerns. The review is ongoing and no final decision has been taken.
Spectators at the Euro 2020 group matches of England against Croatia, Scotland and the Czech Republic will be required to use Covid vaccine passports. This will be the first time that a sporting event in the UK will require Covid certification.
Fans can use the NHS app to demonstrate that they have received two doses of the vaccine at least 14 days previously, or they can show a negative lateral flow test taken within the previous 48 hours via a confirmation text, an e -mail or a printed.
There will be 22,500 fans for England’s group matches at Wembley – 25% of its capacity – and if the vaccination passport system works well it could pave the way for bigger crowds in the semi-finals and of the Euro 2020 final, which also take place at the stadium.
While English Wembley fans can use the NHS app, Scottish fans must take a lateral flow test or apply for a ‘Covid Status Vaccination Letter’ and Welsh supporters must apply for a ‘Covid Vaccination Certificate’, which according to UEFA can take up to 10 working days to arrive.