Do Covid passports belong in a democratic country?
Georgia Balmer discusses the issues of implementing ‘Covid passports’ in the UK.
Throughout the last eighteen months, the British Government has championed the importance of “personal responsibility”. Yes, there have been restrictions, and guidelines, and mandated lockdowns enforced with sporadic fines, but for most individuals, it has been a preached ‘moral duty’ that has encouraged us to do the ‘right thing’ for our communities. For a country built upon liberal traditions, for which we beheaded a King, the option to ‘do the right thing’ is a motivation we are familiar with. A compulsory domestic passport to nip to the shops? Less familiar.
Why should we be ‘threatened’ into a vaccine centre?
Our current ‘freedom’ has been referred to by international experts as an “unethical experiment”, of which Covid passports would be a new addition. Firstly, who would provide the infrastructure for such an ID system? In the US, Texas and Florida have already passed legislation to ban the enforcement of a Covid passport over fears of medical data being held by tech giants and third parties. As for day-to-day enforcement, we have already proven the inefficiency of relying upon minimum wage workers to act as ‘Covid patrol’ at potential super spreader events – Wembley, anyone?
How would individual businesses and their employees be supported by the government in the enforcement of such strict measures? How much would it cost to give them adequate support? Most importantly, why should we be ‘threatened’ into a vaccine centre?
For those who are truly against being vaccinated, fraudulent ‘Covid passports’ would create a brilliant side hustle for those inclined. The Government has already threatened international travel, nightclubs, and university lectures as punishment for anti-vaxers; at what point do they consider positive incentives and investment in consistent and transparent public health education? If vaccines are the road to freedom, it feels counterintuitive to be forcing people kicking and screaming down the road. At least, in a democratic country anyway.