Why Covid19 ‘Vaccine Passports’ For Travel Are Wrong.

Travel has always at it’s most fundamental level been about freedom. Over the years there have been necessary limitations on that freedom, for security needs or the purposes of public health for example, and by and large they have been reasonable and acceptable, but this newly proposed ‘vaccine passport’ for Covid19 is a step too far. It places unparalleled restrictions on our freedom to travel with no clear clinical justification, is immoral, unethical and even illegal in many countries, and should never be imposed on any traveller anywhere.

The covid19 pandemic has seen some of the worst restrictions placed on individual freedoms since the second world war, from unjustified lockdowns to the shutting down of entire industries, including the hospitality and travel sectors, and now as the world starts to come through the end of the pandemic travellers face even more punitive restrictions on their freedom in the form of ‘vaccine passports’.

Restrictions like these, where entire countries have effectively been placed under house arrest, people have been encouraged to hate entire groups of ‘others’ and psychological warfare has been used to terrify people into submission would once been thought of as unthinkable in the western world after the horrors of WWII, and they should horrify anyone with any understanding of authoritarianism and who values the freedom we once had to travel the world. We are not a ‘papers please’ society, according to our very own UK Parliament, and yet it seems that is exactly what we are becoming.

I am a classical libertarian at heart which means that I value individualism and freedom above almost all else, and whilst I recognise that sometimes some restrictions are obviously necessary in society I am extremely suspicious of and naturally opposed to anything that seeks to curtail that freedom without good reason. That is why I am wholly opposed, instinctively and intellectually to the proposed ‘vaccine passports’.

The Vaccine.

I should qualify first of all that this is nothing to do with the vaccine itself. As a nurse who routinely advises on travel health and vaccines in my own travel clinic, and wholeheartedly recommends them when they are appropriate (with a huge emphasis on the ‘when based on individual medical histories), I take the same stance with this vaccine too. I should also take a moment to dispel a few myths and misinformation about the vaccine because frankly scaremongering and emotional zealotry has replaced fact and common sense all too often in this debate, and that has been a significant problem.

There are three primary vaccines that have all been approved for use in the UK, declared safe and have met the strict standards set out by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, the Pfizer vaccine, the Oxford Astrazenica vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. All work in similar ways but are safe and they are effective.

Now, like any vaccine there may be side effects, this is true of all medication. Like all vaccines there will be a number of people who have no side effects at all and the vast majority will have a sliding scale of side effects ranging from barely noticeable up to feeling mildly ill. These are in the absolute majority of cases nothing to worry about. There will also be a much smaller percentage of people who may get rare, more serious side effects. Again, this is true of any medication and is not something that is unique to the covid19 vaccination. Acute exanthematous pustulosis or toxic epidermal necrolysis are technically side effects of paracetamol, but people generally consider paracetamol to be safe and don’t think twice about taking one for a headache do they? (Both of those occur in less than 0.01% of patients by the way and are rare to the point of barely being a consideration). Any mainstream media reports of fatalities and side effects should be taken with an extreme amount of salt, remember that there is a vast difference between causation and correlation.

I strongly recommend vaccines in most cases where it is clinically appropriate for the individual, but I also understand that it is and always should be a personal, individual choice, and that choice should never be compromised, coerced or forced.

So in very general terms I do recommend getting the vaccine, but like the risk assessment of all vaccines this is always contingent on an individual risk assessment and personal medical history, because the choice of getting the vaccine is yours and yours alone based on your own judgement and conversations between yourself and a qualified medical professional who knows you best. As a nurse I can advise you, give you the facts, but never coerce, force or pressure you into a decision either way. That is the basis of informed consent and underpins everything we do. One of the most pernicious and horrific things I have seen in this whole farce is the malicious, disgusting and dangerous public attitudes toward anyone who has any genuine questions and concerns over what is still a very new vaccine. People have the right to be worried, they have the right to have questions and concerns and should be able to ask those questions without fear of being berated. There are many out there who may be pregnant for example and concerned about the fact that not enough is yet known about the long term effects for the vaccine to be routinely advised, there may be people with a history of significant reactions to vaccines, you just don’t know people’s individual circumstances or reasons, and you have no right to. These people have the right to make their own decisions based on the facts and the evidence, they are not antivaxxers, they are not evil, they are not killing your grandma or putting people at risk. That mentality needs to end because it is disgusting, pernicious and wrong.

The ‘Vaccine Passport’.

Despite frequent exertions to the contrary, the Health Secretary Matt Hancock explicitly ruling them out and even the UK vaccines Minister Nadhim Zawadi stating that there are absolutely, definitely, without any shadow of a doubt zero plans at all for any form of passport, because ‘it isn’t how we do things in Great Britain’ according to our very own, supposedly Libertarian Prime Minister, the truth is that a vaccine passport is being considered in Whitehall.

This means at the very least we will be forced to carry some form of ID or information showing our vaccination status to be able to at the very least travel, but more likely to do anything else too.

Of course the language used is very evasive and non committal, it is sometimes referred to as a passport, or a certification, but it is happening. It has already happened in New York and soon the rest of the so called land of the free, other countries are following suit and the EU is pushing for it too (I’m less surprised there, they have form). And it is very, very wrong.

Apart from the fact that there are obvious logistical and practical concerns about the effectiveness of any new passport, the very idea is immoral and illegal in many countries.

Don’t We Already Have Vaccine Passports?

One of the most common arguments for this system is that we already have vaccination passports and requirements for travellers, so why is this new vaccine passport any different? What those who make that erroneous comparison are referring to is the ICVP, or the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, and whilst it is true that it is used in that way, the two things are not comparable at all.

First of all is the disease itself, and the risk of covid19 is not comparable to the risk of those diseases where vaccines are considered mandatory under the ICVP by an order of magnitude. Yellow Fever for example is a mosquito borne disease where up to 1 in 4 will develop serious symptoms and of those people, up to half of those cases will prove fatal. Case fatality rates of Yellow Fever are in the range of 15 to 50% and the disease is very prone to having extreme epidemic outbreaks, compared to the current CFR of 0.8 – 9.64% and dropping for covid19. To give another example Meningitis is a very serious disease that in most cases doesn’t require a proof of vaccination on entry to a country, unless you are attending the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages in Saudi Arabia due very specifically to the significantly raised risk during that time. These are mandatory vaccinations in a sense, but are used in very specific circumstances in very specific countries, they are not applied across the board as a blanket measure and only apply to distinct and specified high public health risks. Covid19 does not now fit that definition, not by a long shot.

At best, in my opinion, the Covid19 vaccination should be added to the list of ‘recommended’ travel vaccines and people should be allowed to make their own risk assessments and their own choices.

Secondly the ICVP is mandated under specific International Health Regulations under the World Health Assembly, regulations that provide an international set of laws and guidelines that provide a public health response to various PHEICs (Public Health Emergencies of International Concern). More importantly these regulations are applied very specifically in very limited, surgical ways that effectively curtail and manage any current and emerging public health risks whilst still allowing international travel, traffic and trade and still allowing society to function normally. This is part of the reason fir example that international travel bans and border closures have never been a recommended part of emergency pandemic response protocols.

We already have a set of internationally recognised standards for public health risks and mandatory vaccination status for travel in very specific circumstances, if this current pandemic reached the standard required to be managed by that, it easily could be. It does not. We do not need a whole new ‘passport’ system.

The proposed ‘vaccine passport’ is not even close to being the same thing as this. Not only is this a blanket solution where a tailored surgical strike solution would be appropriate, so far every country who is planning this are essentially applying their own standards to it, potentially applying it to not only travel but everyday life as well, and worst of all it will not be international health organisations or authorities that oversees its implementation or use. It will not be the WHO (who by the way do not recommend vaccine passports or immunity passports either) or a border official checking you meet international requirements to enter a very specific place at a specific time, it will be the owner of an airline taking the unilateral decision to ban those who don’t have the vaccine, it will be no neck John the doorman, with no qualifications or basic intelligence, banning you from entering the hotel unless you show your papers. And it won’t be an internationally recognised certificate of vaccination either, like the ICVP, it will be any number of tech companies designing a variety of apps that will decide what is acceptable and how you have to present your vaccination status, with zero guarantee so far that it will be recognised from one country to the next.

These are economic decisions, designed in the most charitable interpretation as a response to get ‘back to normal’ and kickstart travel and the economy again, at worst they are decisions based on fear and ignorance and designed to illegally and immorally discriminate, coerce and bully. They are political decisions based on the extreme precautionary principle. What they are not are decisions based on science or clinical data.

The ethical issues around the blanket enforcement of a vaccine passport are quite clear. Travel and freedom of movement are basic human rights, and when those rights are curtailed in any way, which they can be for good and very specific reasons, there must be clear and unarguable reasons for that. This vaccine passport, based on the supposed threat of Covid19, simply does not reach that standard. It doesn’t even come close.

The impact of any passport will quite simply be discriminatory, both directly and indirectly and that is illegal under the Equalities Act 2010 in the UK and Article 21 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the EU. Many other western countries have similar legislation. It really is as simple as that.

Our public health policy is based on the medical paradigm of informed consent, and rightly so. UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights states very clearly that any medical intervention is only to be carried out with the prior, free and informed consent of the person concerned.

As I stated earlier there will be a large number of people who physically cannot get the vaccine for a wide variety of reasons, from religious concerns to medical issues and everything in between. There will even be for some time yet a number of willing younger people who want the vaccine but are unable to get it because of their low risk status. For some European countries and in the US for example, it may well be coming to the end of 2021 or even 2022 before everyone who wants a jab can be vaccinated. Many countries are still very far behind the UKs rollout. Is that fair? Should they be denied the right to live their lives? Discriminating against those people by denying them access to travel, denying access to services or punishing them in other ways by treating them differently than those who can get or have had the vaccine is illegal. Punishing those who do not or can not get the vaccine and rewarding those that do is immoral and unethical, especially when bribery and threatening language is used to force people to get it, or use it as a way to ‘get back to normal’ out of a system of disproportionately harmful lockdown measures they imposed on the country in the first place. It is just abhorrent. It is coercion plain and simple, and that is morally, ethically and legally wrong, and as I said earlier goes against every fundamental ethical principle of informed consent that any medical practice is underpinned by.

Then of course there are also those who will be indirectly discriminated against by the introduction of mandatory vaccine passports. There are those from lower economic backgrounds, black and ethnic minority backgrounds and younger age groups who are traditionally less likely to take part in vaccination rollouts, again for a wide variety of reasons, and they will be discriminated against. Frankly it doesn’t matter if you think that is right or not, they have that right, and that freedom of choice.

Even the EU Parliamentary Assembly, on their own report on the ethical, legal and practical considerations for the Covid19 vaccination rollout in January 2021, stated very clearly in its resolution 7.3 that the vaccine should never be mandatory, that all citizens should be made very aware of that fact and they should never under any circumstances be politically, socially or otherwise pressured to get it or discriminated against if they choose not to get it.

That is pretty black and white isn’t it? The vaccine is not mandatory and no one should be pressured into getting it or discriminated against for not getting it. You cannot put it any simpler than that, and yet this is exactly what the vaccine passport does! The vaccine does not meet the clinical standard for mandatory travel vaccination consideration, and yet governments all over the world are threatening to punitively take away not only our rights to travel but our basic freedoms to live and work if we do not get it.

And the worst thing about this is the wholesale support from the mob! I wonder how history will judge the colour of their shirts? Brown is already taken.

The mainstream media is full of headlines stating this is a way to ‘help us travel safely again‘ and as a way to jumpstart international travel (which by the way had no clinical reason to be stopped in the first place). Tech companies specialising in biometric data are jumping at the bit to make a lot of money off this and are obviously ramping up the ‘return to normal’ rhetoric for their own ends.

Fear. Control. Threats. Coercion.

Seriously, can no one else see a problem with this?

The Practical Issues.

Now quite apart from the fact that the proposed vaccine passports are unethical in concept and illegal in practice, why is no one asking fundamental questions about the practical logistics of running such a scheme? As I stated before this is not an addition to the already existing ICVP programme overseen by various WHA’s, this is a whole new set of systems being looked at by a variety of different countries with different ideas and different tech companies all trying to undercut each other to get the lucrative contracts. And we all know that the UK and EU governments stellar record with farming out contracts during the pandemic don’t we?

Still think this is a good idea?

I mean at the end of the day we still do not know the long term effectiveness of the vaccine. Will we need to get a new jab every single year just like we do the influenza jab and then get an updated passport for that? How often will booster jabs be needed? How much will that cost? Who will pay for it? More importantly, who will make money from it? Hell, influenza has the potential to be a significant risk every flu season, are we going to be expected to add our flu jab status to the vaccine passport too?

What about the requirements for each individual country? What if any given country doesn’t recognise the specific brand of vaccine you have taken? What if the French decide to throw another political strop about Astrazeneca? Will only those with the Pfizer jab be allowed in? Will the ‘digital green passport’ be accepted in Mexico? Or Thailand? Or Australia?

What if you have only had one jab but cannot get an appointment for your second dose before your need to travel? Will that be allowed? What if a country decides to enact policies that don’t recognise any passport at all and lets anyone travel, or the next country decides to only recognise one specific type of app? What if every country has their own specific app? Will world travellers need a hundred different apps and every type of jab imaginable? Will we need IATA’s ‘travel pass’ to fly on their airlines, but a completely separate one to enter the country when we land? What if we have one flight with an IATA airline but then another connecting flight outside of that system?

We also seriously need to question the role of private business in international health regulations like this. If, as the EUs own resolution 2337 on democracies facing the covid19 pandemic states ‘any proposed vaccine passport should only ever be used for their designated purpose of monitoring vaccine efficacy, potential side-effects and adverse events’, then why exactly are private businesses and corporations being allowed to stipulate their own discriminatory rules based on them? Will private airlines, hotels, bars or any other travel or leisure industry business open themselves up to future legal action? And if they are going to be forced to use this system to ‘reopen’ without punitive action, then will that help or will it more likely hinder their business?

What about privacy issues around those developing apps having access to private medical records, which at this current developmental stage is being proposed as an alternative to little pieces of card. Apart from the tiny issue of medical confidentiality, which despite recent rhetoric is actually very important, what guarantees do we have that our data will be kept that way? Why should every Tom, Dick and Harry be able to access or view our personal medical data which at the moment are still protected under legal privacy and confidentiality laws?

And perhaps most importantly how long will this be a requirement? The risk of covid19 is falling rapidly, to the point it is barely more of a risk than influenza and it hasn’t been considered a High Consequence Infectious Disease since last March, and that is being compounded as vaccine rollouts continue to get better and better (some places are performing better than others admittedly). The risk of international travel is already relatively low. Will these passports only last until the risk has fallen low enough? Who decides that standard? Are we expected to believe that the risk should fall to absolute zero which just will not happen? Or will this be a permanent requirement? In which case a whole new set of worrying questions need to be asked.

What Is The Point?

And that level of risk leads to perhaps the real question that no one is asking. What exactly is the point here?

Now just to shut the extremists up, covid19 is a very real disease, it is a very serious disease that can have very serious consequences and has placed a huge strain on the worlds health systems over the last year. That is a fact and is not in doubt. What covid19 is not however is the world ending plague that the media and the world’s governments have portrayed it to be.

When it first appeared in 2019 it hit the worlds population hard, as new diseases tend to do, so hard in fact that governments around the world ignored existing emergency pandemic response protocol and clinical advice designed for this exact scenario (yes, governments all over the world have been preparing for this for decades) and did the exact opposite based on fear, the precautionary principle and public opinion, which led to travel bans, lockdowns and mask mandates. No government wanted to be seen to be doing nothing.

With any new disease large numbers of initial cases and deaths in the population it effects are unfortunately inevitable until more is learned about the disease and actions are taken against it. But as we have learned over the course of the year the risk is now not as high as initially feared.

Despite initial fears, Covid19 was declassified as a High Consequence Infectious Disease over a year ago now. Of all current active cases, the risk of developing severe symptoms is just 0.4%. For those under 50 and with no specific health risks the risk is even lower than that, with even the risk to those over 75 (and over the average age of death in the UK) with severe comorbidities the highest, yet still less than 1%. The number of cases has fallen significantly, perhaps in part to the overreporting of data due to rushed PCR tests being administered incorrectly at too high a cycle rate, but the levels of hospitalisations and deaths have dropped significantly too. Asymptomatic spread, once used to scaremonger the population to believe that everyone who didn’t have symptoms were spreading the disease by default, is now believed to be negligible compared to initial estimates. The number of cases and deaths that were initially feared, based on now highly laughable and debunked models from the ever wrong Ferguson et al (and yet still not as high as those prepared for in the planning for an emergency response for a super coronavirus pandemic) never happened. Hospitals were never overwhelmed.

A serious disease yes, but an honest conversation about the genuine risk was never allowed to happen because of the fear and the precautionary principle.

The vaccine rollout programme in the UK has been extremely successful, and it has been fair to good in many other countries too, with huge percentages of the adult population already vaccinated in the UK. Findings from the University College London suggest that this is reinforcing the natural antibodies and T Cells that the population in the UK has naturally built up and has lowered the risk of the virus spreading through communities significantly.

So given all of this, by the time any of the practical issues raised around the introduction of the vaccine passports are solved, they will be largely irrelevant to the risk of covid19 and be completely redundant, so what exactly is the point of introducing them at all? Especially now, when we are coming to the end of this?

Why are we not only continuing with extreme and disproportionate measures, but contemplating adding even more draconian measures in on top? Where is the justification for it? The truth is there is no justification. No clinical justification at any rate.

It Is Time We Started To Open Up Travel Again.

It is time the world opened up again and travel resumed as normal. Travellers are hungry to see the world they love and the travel industry is eager to have them back. There is still room for some mild caution of course, and it is perhaps right that smaller countries who do not have the healthcare infrastructure to cope with another outbreak take a little more time to slowly ease back to normality, that is reasonable and proportionate, but in general terms there is no reason that most developed countries cannot open up fully with no restrictions, no mandatory quarantines or lockdowns, no mask mandates or any other wholly unnecessary punitive (and against all science, before anyone starts) impositions. And certainly no damn covid19 vaccine passports.

Although to be fair as a nurse I am ecstatic that people are finally paying attention to basic hand hygiene, I have been screaming from the rooftops for years! We can keep that change!

Vaccines are a wonderful thing, and the covid19 vaccine is a great step that will absolutely help in the fight against the disease, but forcing or coercing people is not the way to ensure a strong uptake. Continued punitive and disproportionate measures that curtail travel for no real clinical reason are no longer justifiable in any way, shape or form, and a ‘vaccine passport’ that will be a permanent solution is not the answer. Pandemic response best practice has always been to protect the vulnerable and learn to live with the disease as life goes on. We have done it with every PHEIC before, from sarscov1 to MERS and many more, and we do it every single year with influenza, norovirus and many others. It is time we did that with sarscov2 and Covid19 as well.

The proposed vaccine passport is wrong on every level, it is unethical, immoral, impractical, unworkable and illegal, and it should be opposed with every fibre of our being in a free and democratic society.

Did you enjoy this article? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on my Facebook or Twitter pages and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.

Ask A Nurse. 10 Of Your Most Common Travel Health Questions Answered.

Everything You Need To Know About Travel Vaccinations But Were Afraid To Ask.

How To Decide What Travel Vaccinations You Really Need.

The Ultimate Guide To Travel Vaccinations.

Michael Huxley is a published author, professional adventurer and founder of the travel website, Bemused Backpacker. He has spent the last twenty years travelling to over 100 countries on almost every continent, slowly building Bemused Backpacker into a successful business after leaving a former career in emergency nursing and travel medicine, and continues to travel the world on numerous adventures every year.

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197 comments on “Why Covid19 ‘Vaccine Passports’ For Travel Are Wrong.
  1. Alex says:

    Amazing article! I’ve been reading all the information I can on these cocid passportsand honestly it really worries me, but I haven’t been able to figure out exactly why until now. THANK YOU! It is a shame no one else is speaking up about this.

  2. Philip says:

    It’s not discrimination. Air lines have to keep people safe the planes are checked for safety so why then put people in them who are a danger to others. It’s your choice to have the vaccine and it’s your choice to fly. It’s not discrimination. That would be stopping a black person flying and then letting a white person on or the other way around.

    • Hmm, I think UK and EU law, human rights legislation and even Lord David Sumption, the former Supreme Court Justice would disagree with you on that legal front Philip. And all clinical evidence and reports such as the EU Aviation Safety Agency’s safety protocol and guidelines for covid19 would disagree on the safety front. Did you even read the article?

    • Helen Flynn says:

      Discrimination on health grounds is discrimination. What right do you have to remove travel or other parts of anyones life because they choose not to or can’t have a vaccine for a disease with a 99% survival rate?

  3. Heisenberg Jr. says:

    Finally someone speaking some common sense!

  4. Colin says:

    Some very interesting points made here and some really great questions. The biggest one for me, and I agree with you completely, is why? What is the need for them?

  5. Dianne. says:

    Don’t like it, don’t go anywhere. Simple. If you don’t want to follow rules then you don’t deserve to travel.

  6. Ness says:

    There is definitely a whiff of communist Russia and citizens having to show “papers” about this.

  7. Keith J. says:

    It makes sense to be able to provide evidence that we are safe to enter another country. It’s not that big a deal.

  8. Sarah says:

    Yes! Anyone who has been abroad in the last year would see that other countries are desperate to get back to normal and this is NOT the way to do it!

  9. Lisa says:

    At last, some balanced, common sense voices are starting to come through!

  10. Hazza says:

    Even the thought of vaccine passports is un-british and wrong. It goes against the freedoms and liberal ideals we have always upheld.

  11. Chris B says:

    I fear you are spot on with every point here. People are sleep walking in to a dystopian nightmare and no one is opening their eyes to see it! Great work giving an alternative pov!

  12. Dave Hall says:

    This is to save lives you cocksucking antivaxxer! Millions are dead and you want to kill more?

  13. Amanda says:

    Such a refreshing read from all the scaremongering! Hopefully this will all be over soon.

  14. Ahmed says:

    Is this an April Fools joke?

  15. Rob Schumer says:

    What I don’t get is why? Why are our governments introducing such draconian policies and making travel illegal? I never thought I’d even say that, travel is ILLEGAL! Why?

    • I know Rob, who would have thought in our lifetime we would ever hear that sentence spoken in all seriousness? But as I have said it is based on the political precautionary principle, not clinical fact.

  16. Derek says:

    So you don’t agree with lockdowns either? They worked in Australia.

  17. Al says:

    The debate should be around getting back to normal life without restrictions, not this bargaining over unethical passports.

  18. Michelle says:

    I just went on your post about vaccine advice and there doesn’t seem to be anything up about the covid vax, do you not advise on that?

    • I do advise on it Michelle, yes, and something will go up on those pages soon, but right now there is a lot of unknowns about it and what will happen with visa requirements and so on that I’m holding off putting anything down until it is 100%, I hope that makes sense?

  19. Ben says:

    Vaccine passports are just wrong on so many levels.

  20. Scott says:

    Thank you for saying this and being one of the few voices of reason! Vaccine passports are just not needed, they’re un-British, discriminatory and just plain wrong!

  21. Mike Swanson says:

    Couldn’t agree more, but that is a really interesting point about the difference between this and established YF vaccines, never had it explained so well before. So why do you think they are going down this blanket route instead of using existing legislation? I’m not exactly an expert but from what you said it sounds like the WHO could work with individual governments to do something similar to the YF vaccine paper on a case by case basus where it is most needed? Why this?

    • Well basically Mike it is all based on the precautionary principle, that’s why. It is a political decision which basically looks at the extreme worst case scenario and enacts the most stringent policies against it, no matter how unlikely and no matter what the actual clinical evidence says. That is what most decisions have been based on throughout this. And you are right the new vaccine could very easily be incorporated into the existing system of recommended travel vaccines and even (although I wouldn’t say it is necessary) given a heightened must have for entry status for very specific countries (for example you could make an argument for Mexico to be more cautious, but certainly not the UK, Australia or many other countries).

  22. Matt says:

    From what I’ve been reading it seems like it’s not going to be only 1 or 2 doses, its more like 1 or 2 doses every year since you’re gonna need updates like the Flu vaccine, so do we have to get this renewed every single time we want to travel? Every year?

  23. Carol says:

    I can’t believe you as a qualified nurse is against this, this is about saving lives and going with the science! You should be ashamed!

  24. Pete Degnan says:

    Another brilliantly written and well argued article. I have been following you for many years now and love that you aren’t afraid to give the middle finger to the mob and say what is right! Keep up the great work.

  25. Carl says:

    I think it is more about the potential for this passport to be used in a domestic setting as opposed to international travel but I definitely see your point.

  26. Ben says:

    “For your safety”. The most terrifying words in authoritarianism.

  27. Tony says:

    I think more and more people are getting fed up with this now. We should have treated it as a bad strain of flu from the beginning. No lockdowns, no testing, no scaremongering. It has gone far beyond a joke and needs to stop.

  28. Martin B. says:

    I wonder how people would feel like if we start testing everyone and demanding papers for HIV, or the flu, or D&V to be allowed to travel or live a normal life? Like you say we accept sensible but limited restrictions like for YF, but a serious line has been crossed.

  29. Ian Nicholson says:

    I was so against this vaccine passport nonsense for anything domestic, and now see your point about international travel too. (Admittedly at first I thought it was like any other travel vaccine). It’s a complete disgrace and makes my blood boil.

  30. Arthur says:

    If you look at pandemic advice prior to June 2020, WHO stated completely different advice on any response.

  31. Becky. says:

    Don’t be a twat. This is to save lives.

  32. Sally Howden says:

    Oh come on now, be fair, how else will the politicians pay for their new moats and orangeries? Their mates have to get some form of dodgy multi billion contract!

  33. Paul says:

    Any medical decision should always be based on choice, personal choice and personal responsibility, nothing else is needed. Keep the government out of it.

  34. James says:

    I’d quite happily accept one of these if it means I can travel again.

  35. Craig says:

    Private companies do this are subject to mass boycotts and discrimination suits out the proverbial.

  36. Roy says:

    These passports should be categorically banned as a violation of privacy and civil rights.

  37. Anne says:

    Those ”passports” should be banned!! They are big threat to our democraties, a step closer to Chinas totalitarian surveillance-system.

  38. D. says:

    I agree totally and I think most intelligent people would. You do know you will get a lot of blowback from the frightened haters for this though? Good luck! 😂

  39. JMarie says:

    The government have done a very good job of creating a specific narrative for people to think this is the only way to be safe and get back to “normal”. It is frightening how easily authoritarian measures can creep in.

  40. Rob says:

    I agree it’s wrong but it is only for a short time and it’s quite sensible considering we are in the middle of a pandemic.

    • Well first off we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic, we are at the end of it, and secondly do you remember ‘just two weeks to flatten the curve? Just a month to save the NHS? Just another week or two to save lives? A year and a half later …

    • John says:

      It is exactly this kind of thinking that will allow this draconian rule to pass and make it permanent. Last year, passports were ridiculed as conspiracy theories, but now ok maybe it will be okay for a little bit?

  41. Kim says:

    So if it is so illegal why are governments being allowed to get away with this?

  42. Tess says:

    But I want to travel again! I want to leave the house and shop without masks and get back to normal! This will do that, so why not?

  43. Sarah says:

    You said that lockdowns and masks were unneccessary too, can I ask why? They were put in place to save lives? Surely as a nurse you should be supporting that?

    • First off Sarah no they weren’t. Secondly as a nurse I have best practice to uphold and am the one qualified to know what I should and should not be supporting, and on that note I don’t support either because neither are best practice. Lockdowns are an extreme measure based on the political precautionary principle, which takes the most extreme risk, no matter how small or non existent, and uses it to justify the most extreme response. Most people don’t know that most western countries have been preparing for a coronavirus or influenza pandemic for at least the last decade, we prepared for it, we even had ‘war game’ training based on it called exercise Cygnus as just one example, we had best practice protocols based on it, and none of them, NONE of them, involved lockdowns or travel bans any of the punitive measures that have been put in place. The same is true for masks, all infection prevention and control protocol and best practice for at least a decade, including international advice from the CDC and WHO recommended masks for mass public use because the public are not trained in asymptomatic technique and public use will spread more germs than stop. Why do you think the advice from every medical professional right up to the Chief Medical Officer was very, very different at the start of this to what it is now?

  44. Neil says:

    This is the single best post I have read on these new passports yet and I agree completely! The mainstream media should be ashamed and this deserves to be talked about on every news channel and front page!

  45. M.Speakman. says:

    Great article, but I really don’t think they will become a reality.

  46. Graham says:

    Agreed. Vaccines are obviously to be encouraged, but forced? No. And the threat of taking freedoms away if you don’t is disgusting.

  47. Laura Ellman says:

    This hit the nail on the head for me and filled in so many missing pieces. I had been wondering exactly why this disease, as serious as it may be, is being treated so differently to other diseases, even ones that are similar or even far more deadly. When you look at the decisions being made are from a political point of view they start making a lot more sense.

    • Exactly Laura, you can’t apply clinical data or logic to the decisions because they just don’t work under that scrutiny, when you see them under the blanket of fear, ‘just in case’ and covering your arse politically and making it seem you are doing all you can, then the penny drops.

  48. Edward Reece says:

    (spoiler alert) As with 100% of the other correspondents here I am not actually a qualified virologist – however I think for a while longer there needs to be a degree of caution as parts of the world recover from the pandemic bearing in mind that other parts of the world are currently being hammered by it.I could point out that in the UK when certain lock-down restrictions were eased both last summer and over Christmas there followed a spike in the death rates but I’m sure libertarians would shrug their shoulders and quite rightly say “we can’t stay locked down forever”.The rights and wrongs of vaccine passports are a minor issue compared with the panic (hysteria)? of foreign governments regarding opening up their countries to international travel.Places like New Zealand,Taiwan & Australia are going to make damn sure international travelers are kept well away from their near COVID free shores especially from those countries who have enjoyed the highest death rates – you know the sort of nations governed with Prime Ministers who say things like “going to the pub is the right of every Englishman” and to hell with the consequences.Another issue to consider is that not all vaccines have the same level of effectiveness and that’s before you factor in the virus itself is mutating.The Russian Sputnik has a 91.6% effective rate, Pfizer has a 95% the much loved Astra-Zeneca is 70% whilst the Chinese Sinovac has a barely 50% effective rate.

    • The problem with that is that your opinion – like most people’s to be fair – is based on fear, not evidence, and we have already had a year of extreme caution with measures that are both disproportionate and not in line with established pandemic response best practice. That is why it is called the precautionary principle and is what all measures have been based on. A world recovering will not recover if extreme measures are allowed to carry on, a degree of caution has been used and it is now time that paradigm ended. As you say you aren’t qualified so I understand why you don’t understand how ‘spikes’ and death rates work – or mutations for that matter – but I can tell you that the actual evidence, both clinical and industry, no longer supports these measures at all. And no, the issues surrounding these passports are not minor at all. Not in the slightest. The fact people are willing to accept them out of fear, ignorance or the blackmail of ‘getting back to normal’ is actually terrifying. As you say, the hysteria even on a government level surrounding the easing of these measures has reached fever pitch, there has even been a phrase coined for it, Covid anxiety syndrome. So you can stay cautious and stay home for as long as you like, that is your individual choice, but the fact is the risk to the absolute majority is low, and we need to end all of this and return to normal with a balanced sense of risk now, not later.

  49. Adam says:

    Such an articulate article, thank you. Makes a refreshing change from the mainstream media hyperbole.

  50. Glen says:

    This is exactly what governments want. More control. This obsession with daily case reporting is just to keep people scared and forward the passport agenda. And it’s working.

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Hi, I'm Michael! I'm a former nurse turned published author and world travelling professional adventurer! I have spent over twenty years travelling over 100 countries and I want to inspire you to do the same! Want to know more about me? Just click here!

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