Coronavirus: World 'will be watching UK recovery' says MP
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Tory MP Andrew Bridgen believes the introduction of vaccine passports for places like nightclubs will never pass in the House of Commons but fears the Government may seek to use emergency powers to introduce them if they were so desperate. Mr Bridgen explained the UK’s overwhelmingly successful vaccination programme was being admired across the world but stressed if the UK could not exit the coronavirus pandemic without things like vaccine passport then there was “little chance” for other nations. Forecasters believe the UK economy will strongly recover in the second half of 2021 as the UK has benefitted from being one of the first nations with a functioning vaccination programme and one of the first to lift restrictions.
Appearing on LBC, Mr Bridgen was asked his thoughts on the vaccine passports which are hoped to increase the vaccine uptake among the young.
He told the programme: “I think it would be defining moment… if they use the emergency powers they probably could argue with lawyers that they could bring it in without having a vote in the House of Commons.
“But I think that is too far for Boris Johnson and this government.
“You’ve pointed out that the infection numbers are falling, I believe the virus itself is going to burn itself out because there just aren’t enough susceptible hosts.
“We’ve got 93 percent of adults in the UK at least have got antibodies.
“And quite honestly, Tom, if we can’t get out of this pandemic with our levels of vaccination and antibodies there is very little chance for the rest of the world and they all be watching what we do in the UK.
“I think going to domestic vaccine passports would be an authoritarian step far too far.”
While forecasters suggest there will be an economic recovery in later in 2021, some suggest the “pingdemic” and the issues surrounding supply chains may stall the recovery slightly.
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University College’s Professor Karl Friston told the Telegraph he believes around 87 percent of the UK population has COVID-19 antibodies of some kind with around 93 percent required for herd immunity.
The UK’s R rate remains around 1.1 to 1.4 with 25,754 cases recorded on Friday.
Infections have been slowly decreasing over recent weeks despite SAGE advisors warning cases could reach up to 100,000 a day following the lifting of lockdown.
Deaths and hospitalisations have also fallen dramatically with 54 deaths recorded on Friday – a stark contrast from January which saw hundreds of daily deaths before the vaccine programme had taken off.
However, despite the fall in cases and deaths, the Government is looking at ways to encourage younger people to come forward to get the vaccine following a slump in numbers.
More than 68 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds in England have had a first jab, while 88.6 percent of all UK adults have had one.
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The Government have pushed to introduce vaccine passports which will permit entry to enclosed places like nightclubs if a person is double-jabbed.
Plans to introduce the passports for lectures and university have been scrapped this week.
But the Government has teamed up with taxi services and food delivery firms to provide discounts to young people for getting the vaccine.
Heath Secretary Sajid Javid thanked Uber and Deliveroo for taking part in the programme after the companies agreed to provide vouchers to their services.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey went as far to suggest the UK should follow the US and pay young people to get the vaccine.
President Joe Biden is pushing for local governments to provide a $100 cash incentive to those who come forward and get their vaccinations.
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