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Boris Johnson Announces Free Covid Test and Status Certificate for England

LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered the Briton’s first detailed overview of Monday’s post-epidemic society, announcing twice a week free coronavirus testing in England and a certificate of cattle status. Wid that will allow people with immunity to enter crowded nightclubs and sporting events.

The plan is the next step in the British government’s cautious turn of the economy and the first attempt to address the prickly question of how to differentiate between those who are protected from the virus. And those who are still at risk because the country has returned to normal.

“I was going to the pub by myself and carefully put the beer in my mouth. But it didn’t, ”Mr Johnson said at a press conference at 10 Downing Street as he identified the next round of easing restrictions.

Trying to balance public health and personal freedoms, he said the UK would design a system to ensure the COVID status of anyone wanting to enter a higher-risk setting. Although unnecessary pubs and shops may be allowed to claim proof of COVID-free status. But there is no need to do so.

The UK has long opposed the idea of ​​requiring citizens to carry identity documents, and for some in the country, this is an issue of dominance. Opposition Labor leader Kier Starmer has suggested that Covid’s “passport” may go against “British instincts”.

Mr Johnson acknowledged the sensitivity and pointed out that the endorsement plans would not be released in a few months. The government plans to test the program in pilot venues, from comedy clubs and nightclubs in Liverpool to the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

“You have to be very careful in handling this,” he said, “and don’t boot into discriminatory systems.”

Starting next week, the prime minister said unnecessary shops, hair salons and beer gardens in British pubs would be allowed to reopen. But he is more cautious about foreign travel, refusing to say whether the government will seize an earlier target on May 17 for lifting the foreign vacation ban.

The United Kingdom plans to categorize the country according to the traffic light system, with visitors from the green country not required to be isolated, visitors from Amber Country have to be separated at home for several days and those from. Red countries will have to continue to quarantine in hotels

With more than 31 million people who have had at least one vaccination and the country is still largely unblocked, the UK has pushed back for new cases, hospitalizations and even death. Life from the virus is greatly reduced. As a result, Mr. Johnson continues to focus on managing a more open society.

His most ambitious plan is to offer free rapid test kits to the entire population so that people can regularly test themselves. Kits that are used in hospitals and schools are available for purchase by mail or at drugstores.

Public health experts are gradually applauding government measures, which they say are appropriate for countries where the virus continues to spread, despite lower mortality and rapid rollout of vaccines. But they expressed skepticism about the testing program, questioning whether people would be motivated to test twice a week.

“The test only works when people are separated on the basis of positive results,” said Devi Sridhar, Head of the University of Edinburgh’s Global Public Health Program. To take the test “

Britain’s experience with testing and monitoring is one of the most profound aspects of outbreak performance. Even now, experts say, only a quarter to half of those exposed to people tested positive for the virus.

“There has not been a reasonable effort to isolate the sponsored and preoccupied with testing rates without fully understanding the purpose of the testing,” said David King, former chief scientific adviser to the UK government, who is a critical critic. Be straightforward about the epidemic response

As Professor King ultimately credits the government with more caution, he said, “The levels of the virus in the country are so high that there is no reason to think we will get out of this.”

The announcement about Covid certification follows several weeks of controversial signs. In February, Nadhim Zahawi, the minister in charge of the vaccine launch, explained that the use of the vaccine for anything other than traveling abroad: Last month, Mr Johnson suggested that it may be up to each pub to decide whether a COVID passport is required before serving customers.

Under current government thinking, the endorsement will apply to vaccinated people who have recently tested negative for the virus or who can prove their natural immune response from curing COVID.

The opposition came from both the defenders of the liberty on the left and the liberals on the right. Last week, more than 70 lawmakers signed a letter opposing the lawsuit. The “discriminatory and discriminatory use of passports” of the Covid Passport. They include more than 40 conservative lawmakers who are part of the Covid Recovery Group, the lawmakers’ political party that criticizes blocking measures.

Graham Brady, an author on the Daily Telegraph, chair of the influential conservative advocacy group, argued that the COVID passport had little practical reasons, as many young people may not be vaccinated by government time. Plan to open up most of the economy again. He said the fundamental principles are also at risk.

“Earlier this year, patient confidentiality was a sacred principle, and the idea that other people could check our medical records was anesthesia,” Brady wrote. That will allow us to disclose our COVID status as a condition of going to pubs or watching movies. “

Suspicious of the Labor leader, Starmer, the government knows that if it goes too far, the government will lose votes on the measure in parliament.

Still, some view the arguments for civil liberties to be more evenly balanced, said Adam Wagner, a human rights attorney and legal expert dealing with Covid, said the government needs to act cautiously because of privacy concerns and Because “systems like this can cause them to conflict with anti-discrimination laws, for example for citizens. Who are unable to receive the vaccine due to disability “

But, he added, however, there is still a valid right-of-liberty argument to recommend vaccine passports.

“Opening is a very serious claim for everyone’s liberty, and it is even more hammered to break their heads,” said Wagner. “One way to reduce the possibility of being blocked is to allow those who are not. Infected, or less likely to be infected, can do things that normal people do than those who are infected or who are prone to infection. ”

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