Saturday, 15 May 2021

‘Drive out these liars!’ Frexit campaigner fumes over EU’s plan to force vaccine passports

WHO's Nabarro says COVID-19 passport 'system' may emerge

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The leader of French opposition party Les Patriotes called for France to leave the Brussels bloc “as quickly as possible” as he blasted the French President’s denial of planning to issue vaccine passports.

He tweeted: “Just now on France Info (French radio): ‘The government is officially against a health passport.

“‘But in Brussels, technical studies have already started for a harmonised passport throughout the European Union.’

“We must get out of the EU as quickly as possible and drive out these liars!”

Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Estonia are pushing in this direction. Greece and Cyprus have just signed an agreement with Israel so that vaccinated people can travel from one country to another without constraint.

So far, the French Government has denied it will follow suit but a high-ranking minister told French radio France Inter it is only a matter of time.

They said: “The day when 20 percent of the French population refuse to be vaccinated, they will have to assume the consequences.

“When all of our European neighbours have it in place, we won’t have another choice to travel and avoid quarantines.”

In Brussels, since last month, technical studies have started to create a harmonised digital passport.

READ MORE: Barnier ready to ‘suspend’ Brexit deal if UK dips below EU standard

This will not be a first: the vaccine against yellow fever is already compulsory in some countries.

A French diplomat said proof people have been vaccinated will soon be a requirement to travel just like PCR tests.

They said: “In airports, it will gradually become important, like PCR tests today.”

But a minister of Foreign Affairs warned:”Be careful, today we cannot say: ‘Mauricette can travel and have a drink, but you can’t.’

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“Otherwise we are going to trigger riots.

“First, all French people need to have the opportunity to be vaccinated, so it won’t be until summer.”

Several French parliamentarians are in favour of the proposal, including the president of UDI, Jean-Christophe Lagarde.

They also believe the vaccination passport should allow access to bars, restaurants, certain cultural and sporting places or even public transport.

But if the vaccination passport to travel could reach consensus within the government, the idea of opening restaurants only to vaccinated people is not.

“Vaccination would become mandatory, contrary to the President’s promise,” noted an executive adviser.

A French minister in favour of the proposal said: “As soon as other countries have provisions of this nature, we will hear: ‘why not here?’

“This will require, in any case, a parliamentary, scientific and ethical debate.”

In the UK, Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said the Government could facilitate vaccine passports for international travel if required by other countries, but ruled them out for the “domestic economy”.

He told Good Morning Britain: “Some countries are beginning to move in the direction of requiring a certificate, in the way we do now in terms of pre-departure testing.

“Some countries are looking at only allowing people in if they have a vaccine certificate and we will look to facilitate it for the individual.

“For your viewers who would need that certificate in the way they would have needed a yellow fever vaccine certificate to travel to particular parts of the world, then we will make that available.

“We are not looking at a vaccine passport for our domestic economy.

“I think it is much better to vaccinate the whole of the adult population, offer the vaccine to them, as quickly as possible, by September.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega

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