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- PM says UK can look forward to ‘brighter days ahead’ in Easter message
- Covid passports for return to normal life may not be ready for months
- Grandparents could use passport app to screen birthday party guests
- Gove comment: It is time for a discussion about Covid certification
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A Covid certification scheme planned by the Government is a “rather silly measure,” Tory former cabinet minister David Davis has said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to release details of a vaccine passport scheme on Easter Monday. The Government has confirmed any scheme would be part of a wider pilot of a return to large scale gatherings.
Mr Davis questioned the need for certificates, on LBC radio: “It is really rather hard to see what the purpose of this test is. It is very different from anything we have done in Britain outside wartime. We are not used to presenting papers – or the electronic equivalent – to go to the pub or to go to a football match. That is not what we think of our freedoms.
“Once you have got the population to above about 70 per cent vaccinated then you have got herd immunity. So it is very difficult to see what they are trying to stop.
“The idea that we’d somehow stop (coronavirus) variants by this rather silly measure in Britain alone is nonsense.”
Liverpool City Council announced on Sunday they would not be taking part in the certification scheme.
A spokesman for the council said: “The line which was briefed out yesterday by the Government about Liverpool’s events being included in the vaccine passports trials is incorrect – none of our events in Liverpool will involve them.”
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Pope Francis urges countries to speed up Covid vaccine distribution in Easter message
Pope Francis urged countries in his Easter message on Sunday to speed up distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, particularly to the world’s poor, and called armed conflict and military spending during a pandemic “scandalous”.
After saying Mass, Francis read his “Urbi et Orbi” (to the city and the world) message, in which he traditionally reviews world problems and appeals for peace.
“The pandemic is still spreading, while the social and economic crisis remains severe, especially for the poor. Nonetheless – and this is scandalous – armed conflicts have not ended and military arsenals are being strengthened,” he said.
The pope asked God to comfort the sick, those who have lost a loved one, and the unemployed, urging authorities to give families in greatest need a “decent sustenance”.
He praised medical workers, sympathised with young people unable to attend school, and said everyone was called to combat the pandemic.
“I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries,” he said.
Our Foreign Staff report.