Boris Johnson has been accused of imposing ‘compulsory vaccination’ after he threatened to make anyone going to a nightclub prove they are double-jabbed.
The PM is facing a backlash from Tories and civil liberties campaigners after delivering an ultimatum to young people at a press briefing last night. Former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption said the move was ‘completely unnecessary’ given the high rates of vaccine take-up across the UK.
And Professor Sir Jonathan Montgomery, who chaired the ethics advisory board for NHSx on its contact tracing app, warned that ministers need to be wary about ‘where incentive meets coercion’. Critics also pointed out that being vaccinated is not a guarantee people do not have coronavirus, with around 40 per cent of hospital cases having been jabbed.
Mr Johnson – who is self-isolating at Chequers after he was ‘pinged’ – told the press conference last night that proof of double-vaccination will be a ‘condition of entry’ at clubs.
Speaking just hours after the venues were allowed to reopen for the first time in 16 months on ‘Freedom Day’, Mr Johnson declined to rule out extending the scheme to other hospitality venues, including pubs.
It represents a major U-turn, after Cabinet ministers Michael Gove and Nadhim Zahawi previously denied there were plans to introduce so-called ‘Covid status certification’.