The proposals are included as a backup in the government’s Winter Plan.

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to finally rule out the ‘illiberal, anti-business’ vaccine passports once and for all, after they were included as part of ‘Plan B’ in the Tories’ new coronavirus winter plan. 

The party accuses ministers of flip-flopping ten times on Covid passports, from November 2020 to their latest announcement today. 

Tuesday’s winter plan states that in the event of a Covid surge, vaccine passports would be legally required at all nightclubs, indoor settings with 500 or more people, outdoor settings with 1000 or more people, and anywhere with 10,000 people or more.

The government says the proposals must be kept in the back pocket in the event of a spike in hospitalisations and deaths. But civil liberties campaigners have expressed concerns over the ID proposals.

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael MP said: “It is time for the Conservatives to end their chaotic flip-flopping and rule out these illiberal, unworkable vaccine passports once and for all. 

“For months ministers have chosen weasel words over meaningful action, needlessly creating chaos and confusion among businesses by threatening to introduce these passports. 

“After 10 U-turns in one year, the government must come to their senses and scrap this unnecessary measure.” 

Here are the 10 u-turns, according to the Lib Dems:

  1. Nov 2020 – Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi says immunity passports are possible along with Dido Harding 
  2. Dec 2020, the next day – Gove says there is no plan for vaccine passports
  3. Feb 2021 – Raab suggests Covid passports are under consideration for domestic use
  4. Feb 2021 the next day – Hancock says again there are no plans for COvid passports.
  5. Feb 2021 – PM announces review on the issue of vaccine passports
  6. March 2021 – PM says vaccine passports may have a role in pubs but not until August
  7. July 2021 – The PM says Covid passports to be mandatory in nightclubs by September 
  8. Sept 6th – Zahawi says Covid passports are going ahead during an Urgent Question in Parliament 
  9. September 11th/12th  – Sajid Javid says Covid passports will no longer go ahead
  10. Today, 14th September  – The government’s Winter Plan confirms the option to impose Covid passports as part of its Plan B

The latest on vaccine passports is in the government’s new Covid Winter plan (pages 23-24).

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