Vaccine passport protestors descend on Marble Arch
The spat follows cases of the new Omicron variant being detected in the UK, as well as across Europe, prompting governments and officials to consider safe and effective ways to prevent the virus from spreading further. Most encourage vaccinations as the main tool in the prevention of spreading the virus, yet the more controversial passport scheme remains a topic of hot debate.
Taking to Twitter, Mr Neil said: “France has had vaccine passports for some time now. It has 600,000+ Covid cases. UK has 1m+. Which part of vaccine passports don’t you get. They also encourage younger folks to be vaxxed, where UK is lagging. And, as you say, vax works.”
Responding to Mr Neil, Ms Hartley-Brewer said: “Er, vaccines are absolutely the explanation @afneil. They work! But vaccine passports don’t.”
She added: “They are a divisive political tool of punishment aimed at blaming people who aren’t jabbed. Since when do we punish people for making health choices we don’t agree with?”
The former GB News presenter then replied: “Covid cases rising used to result in huge increases in hospitalisations and deaths. Now they don’t. Other than vaccines, what’s your explanation?”
He continued: “I’ve had my third jab. All Pfizer. And I strongly recommend everybody to do the same.”
Both parties had a lot to say about vaccine passports
Andrew Neil takes to Twitter over the debate
Mr Neil added: “I’ve also seen how well vaccine passports work. I don’t believe in mandatory vaccination but if you don’t get jabbed you need to realise there are consequences on where you can go.”
Many people following the thread backed up the importance of Covid jabs.
Gavin Dempster said: “Being vaccinated frees up beds for cancer patients. It is an act of humanity for those that possess a moral compass.”
Brian Ross took aim at Ms Hartley Brewer by saying: “Julia, stop it. You don’t agree with vaccine passports. Good for you. I and lots of others do. Stop it.”
Backing the notion of passports, Mr Neil received the backing of Pat Pigott who said: “All I will say is Surgical Masks and Vaccine passports worked well for Germany the leading light for Covid in Europe.”
Hartley-Brewer fired back at Andrew Neil
Many are opposed to forced vaccines and passports
Across Europe, various vaccines passport schemes are in place.
There has been a mixed reaction to the introduction of the document.
In Belfast, hundreds of anti-vaccine passport demonstrators held their second rally in as many weeks outside the City Hall.
People gathered in central Belfast, with many carrying anti-vaccine and anti-passport placards and banners.
The event was organised in part by a Belfast anti-vaccine passport activist who goes by the name ‘Sean Snow’ on social media.
Those in attendance were told it was not a protest against vaccines but a demonstration in opposition to the certification regulations that were introduced.
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Vaccine priorities across the UK
In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced new vaccination requirements last Tuesday as coronavirus cases start to rise across France again, including tying so-called vaccine passports for entering certain spaces to booster shots for those aged 65 and older.
Warning that the fifth wave of COVID-19 has already begun, the French president said in a televised address that starting December 15, the vaccine passports of those aged 65 and older will no longer be valid if they have not had a booster shot.
Currently, this is the only age group able to get an additional jab, but Macron also announced that those aged between 50 to 64 years old should be able to get one “at the start of December.”
Greece said it would bar people without a vaccine pass from cinemas, theatres and gyms from Monday, the Czech Republic and Slovakia took similar steps, and Sweden will next month introduce a vaccine passport for events of more than 100 people.
Girls show their vaccines passports at a club entry in Scotland
Denmark, which abandoned its Covid pass as cases fell in April, reintroduced it this month.
In the UK, Boris Johnson’s government has consistently rejected vaccine passports, although Scotland requires one for entry to nightclubs and large events.
Vaccine passports enjoy substantial support across Europe, a YouGov survey suggests, as another wave of infections prompts a growing number of countries to impose tougher restrictions on people who have not been fully vaccinated.
The annual YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project suggests majorities in all 10 European countries surveyed back compulsory vaccine passes for large events, while in most, more people favour than oppose their use in cafes, restaurants and gyms.