Nicola Sturgeon slams 'interpretation' of her vaccine targets
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Last week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vaccine passports will be required by law in England for the first time in a bid to increase the Covid vaccination uptake among the younger generation. He stated everyone wishing to attend a nightclub in the country from the end of September will be required to show proof of having received two vaccine jabs. Mr Johnson warned “other venues where large crowds gather” could also be made to adopt the checks, possibly paving the way for the plan to come into force at music concerts, sports events and theatre shows.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has repeated that point and said the UK Government is considering vaccine passports for large-scale events, such as football matches.
Speaking earlier today, he also said people refusing a vaccine jab when they are perfectly able to receive one are “selfish”.
The Scottish Government is yet to make a formal decision on the introduction of vaccine passports.
But speaking during an interview on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney lashed out at plans to turn away people who refuse a Covid vaccination from certain large events.
He said: “I think it’s the wrong way to handle it.”
Mr Swinney said the Scottish Government’s thinking on the issue is being influenced by Professor Stephen Reicher of St Andrews University.
The Deputy First Minister added: “I think, listening to Professor Reicher, I would be much more convinced by an argument that was about engaging people, taking people with us and explaining the rationale.
“Rather than the type of language that you’ve just put to me from Michael Gove.”
He also said talks are continuing with Downing Street over double vaccinated travellers arriving from the US and EU not having to quarantine.
When asked about Scotland’s own Covid vaccine rollout programme, Mr Swinney said it has “massively exceeded” the planning assumption for an 80 percent uptake.
The latest attack on the UK Government comes after Cabinet Office minister Mr Gove branded those who refuse a vaccine “selfish” and warned they will be barred from some events.
Speaking to the PA news agency during a visit to the Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow, he said: “Ultimately, if you can be vaccinated and you refuse to, that is a selfish act.
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“You’re putting other people’s health and lives at risk, you should get vaccinated.”
When asked if refusal to receive a vaccine jab should prevent attendance at some mass events, Mr Gove: “It depends on which part of the United Kingdom you’re in and what the nature of the event is.
“But if you deliberately refuse to get vaccinated and there are certain venues and certain events that require a certain level of safety, then, you know, the terms in which you will be able to get into those venues and those events will be barred to you.”
However, speaking on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mr Johnson refused to throw his support behind the comments made by Mr Gove.
When asked if he backed that view, he told LBC Radio: “No, I think that I would put it the other way round and say that if you get one you are doing something massively positive for yourself, for your family.”
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey also attempted to put distance between herself and the views shared by Mr Gove.
When asked whether those not getting a jab are “selfish”, she told LBC: “I think there are still quite a lot of people who are still scared.
“We want to encourage people to recognise the vaccine is safe and actually will help them but also other people around them too.
“I just really want to encourage people to be positive about the benefits to them, but also to wider society.
“Taking the vaccine is a sensible, safe step forward.”
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