Covid pass starts in England despite biggest rebellion of PM Boris Johnson era

Health / Wed 15th Dec 2021 at 07:15am

ADULTS in England must now show a Covid pass to enter nightclubs, big sports matches and other large events – despite nearly 100 Conservative MPs voting against the government’s plans.

The new rules – which kick in today – require proof of double-vaccination, or a recent negative test, to enter certain venues.

MPs approved the measure in Tuesday’s vote on England’s new Covid rules.

Despite the revolt by 99 Tory MPs,including Harlow’s Robert Halfon, the plans passed thanks to Labour support.

The Commons also backed – with smaller Conservative rebellions – the continuation of mandatory mask-wearing in most indoor settings, and compulsory vaccination for NHS workers in England.

The scrapping of self-isolation for fully vaccinated Covid contacts – in favour of daily lateral flow tests – passed unanimously without a vote.

The rebellion on Covid passes was by far the biggest since Boris Johnson took office.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said it was a “very significant blow to the already damaged authority of the prime minister”.

“It confirms that he’s too weak to discharge the basic functions of government,” he claimed.

One Tory rebel, Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, said the scale of the revolt meant a leadership challenge to Mr Johnson had “got to be on the cards” next year.

And former Tory chief whip, Mark Harper MP, said: “You either listen and you respond and you do things differently – or you ignore what you have been told and you plough on regardless, and then this will happen over and over again.”

What are the new Covid pass rules for England?

  • Over-18s in England must prove they are double vaccinated against Covid-19, had a negative PCR or lateral flow test result within the last 48 hours, or have an exemption, to enter large events and venues
  • This can be shown via the NHS Covid Pass or with a text message or email from NHS Test and Trace
  • The rules apply to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people, and any venue with more than 10,000 people

On Tuesday, England’s chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty warned senior ministers that hospitals were facing a significant increase in the number of people being admitted with the Omicron variant.

Speaking at the same virtual cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned of a “huge spike” of infections – but Downing Street has insisted no further Covid restrictions are being planned.

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1 Comment for Covid pass starts in England despite biggest rebellion of PM Boris Johnson era:

2021-12-15 11:00:30

Not normally a supporter of Boris but swift and significant action is needed, for the uk this is it, even this is a bit late. Once the scientists had identified the big changes in the spike protein reaction, enabling the virus to almost eliminate the effects of previous vaccination action should have been immediate. Delay is fatal. Revolting MPs should realise the virus doesn't give a hoot about xmas gatherings or the freedom not to get vaccinated and to infect others, it'll just try to spread widely and mutate often regardless and in the process kill millions. Passports in France have boosted uptake which can only be a good thing.

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