Hemel Hempstead MP, Sir Mike Penning, has said he will not back the PM on Plan B in the vote next week, expected to take place on Tuesday, December 14.
Sir Mike Penning MP said: “I have made it clear all along that I would not support vaccine passports unless it was absolutely necessary, so I will not be supporting them now. I do not believe they are an effective solution, and they are discriminatory.
“I regularly check the local data and whilst it appears the omicron variant is more transmissible; it also seems to be milder and less dangerous – certainly for people who have had the two jabs and a booster. In West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust area thankfully there have been no deaths in the last 8 days as a result of COVID-19.
“The Government is implementing Plan B “just in case”, rather than based on any clear evidence. The impact of further restrictions on peoples’ mental health and wellbeing, delays to medical treatment like operations and the effect on the local and national economy, is just too much to justify this pre-emptive action. So sadly, I can’t back the Government this time.
“Like it or not, we are going to have to learn to live with COVID-19 in the long term. The vaccines – especially two jabs and a booster – are our saviour. So, if you haven’t already, please, please get your jabs and booster as soon as possible. It will benefit you and your family and friends. The vaccines are literally saving thousands of lives.”
Face coverings have been compulsory in most public indoor venues since December 10 and it was announced yesterday (Wednesday, December 8) that from Monday, December 13, those who can will be advised to work from home.
From Wednesday, December 15, and subject to parliamentary approval, the NHS Covid Pass on the NHS App will become mandatory for entry into nightclubs and settings where large crowds gather – including unseated indoor events with 500 or more attendees, unseated outdoor events with 4,000 or more attendees and any event with 10,000 or more attendees.
People will be able to demonstrate proof of two vaccine doses via the app. The government website states that having considered the evidence since the emergence of Omicron, proof of a negative lateral flow test will also be accepted.