“Vaccine passports” required to travel out of Britain?

The British authorities and media have set “vaccine passport” as one of their latest buzzphrases, and they are giving people to believe they will require to be vaccinated against the SARS variant known as SARS-CoV2 in order to be allowed to go abroad, for example to continental Europe.

Pass laws are likely, but I won’t be surprised if the behavioural conditioning will involve geeing people up a fair bit before the next crackdown. So I am predicting that by June and July there won’t be “SARS-CoV passports” for travel either within the EU or between the EU and Britain, whether vaccination-requiring or otherwise. The governments in EU countries, in which the populations are mostly more self-respecting and less cap-doffy than in Britain – the only exception I am aware of is Sweden – are not promoting that kind of thing right now. And despite the impression you’d get from the British media, it’s those countries that control their own immigration policies, not Britain.

What the European Commission is actually proposing is a “Digital Green Certificate” (DGC), which

  • may record that the holder has been vaccinated but may record instead that they have tested negative or that they have had Covid-19 and recovered from it
  • will not be a condition of travel from one place in the EU to another place in the EU (begging the question of what it will actually be for, but it doesn’t sound as though it will be required on international public transport – whether by land, sea, or air – at least at first)
  • will be issued free of charge
  • will be either showable on a smartphone, or given on paper, according to the holder’s preference.

According to the EC: “All EU citizens have a fundamental right to free movement in the EU and this applies regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not. The same principle applies to the rights of non-EU nationals staying or residing in the EU Member States and who have the right to travel to other Member States.

It seems that DGCs will only be issued by EU member states. So for a British person wishing to travel to the continent who does not wish to “roll up their sleeve for Sir”, one course of action would be to get tested on entry to the other country. I doubt the visa section of any embassy in London will be of any help in this regard – they wouldn’t want the queues, and they wouldn’t want to upset the poshboy regime in the host country either. I also doubt that whoever administers a test in Spain or France to a poor soul from Britain will do it for free. But hopefully you will be able to get a test, and then once you have had a test you should be able to get a DGC.

Similarly, the DGC doesn’t seem as though it will require the carrying of a smartphone or the use of any other personal “tracker” electronics for the time being.

The implementation of the DGC as described above is likely to change, and indeed it isn’t operative right now, but it seems there may be a time window in which it will be operative.

Of course, how you are able to act without breaking the law may also be a way that you are “nudged” to believe that you can’t or shouldn’t act. (To take another example, consider that most people in Britain believe that parents must send their children to school, and that they need permission to remove them from school, when both of these beliefs are false.)

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