Last night in the House of Commons, Theresa Villiers MP voted against the introduction of domestic vaccine passports for entry to nightclubs and other large venues and events. In this statement, she sets out why:
"After considering this issue carefully, I rebelled against the Government whip to vote against vaccine passports. I concluded that there is not sufficient evidence to show that vaccine passports are effective in preventing the spread of Covid. They have not delivered this outcome in Scotland or Wales, where they are already in use.
I received many representations from constituents who feel strongly that having to prove your vaccine status, or take a test, to undertake normal day-to-day activities is unfair and infringes basic freedoms. Whilst the range of premises where proof of vaccination or a test is to be made mandatory is currently limited, I fear that accepting the principle could allow for an expansion of the scheme to more settings in the future.
I am also worried that certain minority communities will be disproportionately impacted by a vaccine passport scheme. For whatever reason, vaccination hesitancy is higher in some minority ethnic groups and I am alarmed at the prospect of members of such communities being routinely turned away from clubs and events.
I recognise the need for action to prevent a big increase in hospitalisations caused by the Omicron variant. I believe that the best way to do this is for people to be offered their booster jabs as quickly as possible. There is encouraging evidence that vaccinations will work to prevent serious illness in Omicron cases.
So I am encouraging everyone to #GetBoostedNow and I support the Government’s campaign to accelerate this programme so everyone can book their jab before Christmas."