BBC’s Fergus Walsh warns Boris of Supreme Court pub challenge ‘Lawyers sharpening quills!’

Vaccine passports: Lawyers 'sharpening their quills' says Walsh

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Speaking to Newscast, the BBC medical editor discussed the role vaccine passports could play in day to day life for Britons if brought in. He told the podcast how he predicted the system could be a voluntary one but raised concerns over grey areas for hospitality. He warned Boris Johnson could face legal challenges to the vaccine passport system if pubs and hospitality venues want to let more punters into their venues in order to generate more business. 

Asked whether he thought vaccine passports would be required on phones, Fergus Walsh said: “I think we will end up with them on our phones certainly on a voluntary basis.”

“It was very interesting if you watched the press conference the Prime Minister was continually saying this won’t stop you going to the pub and shops.”

But the BBC medical editor added: “If you read the document, it was left much more open that this could be a thing that private companies could be open to ask us to do.

“I think for flying, it’s definitely going to be something that will become if not compulsory, if you want to get on a plane and go somewhere, I think you will have to show some kind of certification.”

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Walsh was then asked about the grey area that pubs and venues may face where in order to accept more customers, social distancing would need to be relaxed.

But this would mean pubs would have to demand a Covid passport in order to get more customers in and this would result in turning away those who do not have proof of a jab despite the PM saying you do not need a passport to go to the pub.

Fergus Walsh replied: “I can see the court case going to the High court and Supreme Court.

“Even now the lawyers will be sharpening their quills!”

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The Government’s review into “Covid-status certification” said the system may stay in place until the risk of contagion has been completely eradicated. 

The document said: “(The passport) is likely to become a feature of our lives until the threat from the pandemic recedes” but the review did stress that it would likely be a temporary system.

The report added: “Some measures may be required for a period after all adults have been offered a vaccine, in order to prevent a surge.

“It is also important that there are appropriate exemptions for people for whom vaccination is not advised and repeat testing is difficult.”


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But the Royal College of GPs have voiced concerns over possible oversights the system could present when used at hospitality venues.

The college also warned the certificates could potentially give the Government access to sensitive medical data.

Martin Marshall, head of the institution, wrote to Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, expressing his apprehension over the scheme saying “the college is not necessarily opposed to the introduction of some sort of opt-in proof of vaccination document to allow for international travel.

“Our concern about introducing certification for domestic use is that this risks negatively impacting on some patient groups more than others and by doing so widening existing inequalities, including health inequalities, in society.”

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