Vaccine Passports The Next Act in the COVID-19 Saga

While, like Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom seems to have taken anti-COVID measures to extreme levels, a recent comment from Dominic Raab, the U.K. Foreign Secretary should cause us all to ponder the future that may exist should governments continue down the road to complete totalitarianism.

Let's start by looking at some background information.  In mid-January 2021, HealthcareITNews reported the following:

According to the article, the U.K. was entering the initial live testing stage for the nations newly-developed COVID-19 immunity and vaccination passport.  The passport is being developed by iProve, a facial biometric authentication company and Mvine, a deep technology solutions provider.  The passport will enable a user's COVID-19 test results and vaccination status to be registered, privately of course.  Innovate UK, the government funder has spent £74,270 on the project as shown here:

Note that the funding period for this project began on June 20, 2020 suggesting that the Johnson government has long had plans for a COVID-19 digital passport as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is the announcement of the trial phase for the COVID-19 passport from Mvine:

The system will not capture or store identity data, rather, it will use an "abstract model of the user's face" that "uses AI to work out a set of numbers which represent them and which cannot be mistaken for anyone else".  This will then be linked to the reference number on their vaccine or test results.  Phase 2 trials are scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2021 so that the passport can be rolled out quickly as the number of vaccinated British citizens rises.

Let's look at the rationale behind the COVID-19 passport.  The passport is designed to "prove" a person's COVID-19 status, allowing the "…easing of restrictions on people meeting by reducing the risk of contagion, enabling families and friends to meet, employees to return to work in-person and businesses to open sooner and more responsibly.".  That certainly has the appearance of a government-supplied "carrot", doesn't it?  Another word might be "coercion".

Let's close this section of the posting with this from The Guardian on February 7, 2021:

Now, with all of this in mind, let's look at a recent interview with Dominic Raab, the United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary.  The interview was held on February 14, 2021 on LBC (Leading Britain's Conversation) with Tom Swarbrick (key comments found at the 43 minute 48 second mark):

Swarbrick – "Just back on the vaccine passports.  Clearly this is something that 's going to have to be agreed internationally which the government is now making signs that it's looking at.  What's though to stop a company in this country demanding that in order to enter a restaurant or in order to go into a pub in the future that someone predicted a document saying that they've go at vaccine?

Raab – "Well, in terms of the law that would apply that's something that's the prerogative of the government and parliament but what we want to do is make sure that there's enough confidence in the national roll-out that when we're in a position to open non-essential retail and in due course after that hospitality.  People can do son confidently the modalities and the mechanisms we of course all that need to be worked out and the Prime Minister I said will give a clear sense of the direction of travel so domestically it won't be needed.

Swarbrick – "You don't think a domestic vaccine passport where you have to show a bit of paper to go into a supermarket or something like that?"

Raab – "Well, it's something that hasn't been ruled out .  It's under consideration but, of course, you've got to make it workable.   Whether it's at an international, domestic or local level, you've got to know that the document being presented is something that you can rely on and that it's an accurate reflection of the status of the individual."

So, there you have it.  One of the world's most advanced economies is considering implementing a vaccine/COVID-19 passport system that will be a requirement for everyday life, despite its protestations (and/or lies) to the contrary.  Given that governments are rarely composed of original thinkers, those of us living in the so-called advanced nations can pretty much assure ourselves that, once the United Kingdom imposes this new reality on its citizens, the rest of our so-called elected leaders are sure to follow like a herd of sheep.

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