When I started talking about vaccine passports some months ago, I didn’t think it was a huge stretch to imagine a United Kingdom where society would soon be divided into vaccine ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and that people’s ability to return to some kind of normal life would depend on their vaccination status.
The mere suggestion that to go out to dinner, watch live football, go on holiday, or just enjoy a pint down your local would require proof of vaccine seemed to make people very angry.
But as the UK approaches 30 million first vaccinations, businesses desperate to return bums onto seats are starting to accept the inevitability of vaccine passports.
Yesterday, as an example, British Airways announced that it was planning to register customers’ status on its smartphone app as a way of reopening international travel for its customers.
The move along with the prospect of the Government allowing international travel to restart on May 17 has apparently already seen a flood of bookings for the airline. So, I have to ask who is surprised by this?
To share an aeroplane with a group of passengers who are highly likely to be Covid-free must be the gold standard in air travel. Especially when you also know your vaccine status means you are as well protected from infection as possible.
I can understand why various groups are against vaccine passports, and I agree with those who argue that more government interference in our lives is the last thing we need right now. But I don’t think this is an area the government needs to get involved in. We don’t need Boris and his cronies getting involved.
All we need is for businesses to adopt some form of vaccine ID leaving people to choose to use it or not.
Again, this isn’t me saying what should happen, it’s just looking at what’s going on and realising that for many businesses the ability to save themselves from disaster will depend on being able to open again soon. And proof of vaccination is the fastest way for this to happen, so it will.
People may not like it but the new truth to modern life in the UK is that a person’s vaccine status will be the biggest influence on what they can and can’t do.
That said, this will hopefully be a short-term measure as so many people will soon be vaccinated, making it a moot question in the future. But in the here and now it is the flint that sparks the flame of recovery that we can’t afford to snuff out.
Charlie Mullins is the archetypal entrepreneur having started Pimlico Plumbers from scratch and building it into a multi-million pound enterprise. Always opinionated and often controversial, Charlie’s common sense attitude has earned him a reputation as one of the UK's most outspoken entrepreneurs.Leave a comment