'Vaccine passports are a no-brainer,' caller suffering in Covid ward tells James O'Brien

6 April 2021, 15:08 | Updated: 6 April 2021, 15:18

By Fiona Jones

This James O'Brien caller rung in from a hospital bed in a Covid ward, unable to understand why people are "scared" of having a vaccine passport, branding it a "peace of mind."

Boris Johnson faces a showdown with lockdown-sceptic Tory MPs after he gave his backing to so-called "vaccine passports" to allow large-scale events to go ahead.

Mr Johnson confirmed at a press conference last night that they will be trialled from mid-April to allow large-scale events in the UK to go ahead safely - but Tory rebels and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer call the idea "un-British."

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told LBC this morning that the plans raise a number of "ethical questions" but stressed that people won't need one for visits to the pub, and the measures are still being discussed.

Caller Darren told entirely supported the passport, telling James he was lying in a Covid ward with both the virus and pneumonia.

"It's a life-changing experience...it brings you down to earth when you're a 39-year-old fit and strong healthy lad who can't even brush his own teeth," he said.

"I just don't understand the fear of the passport, certificate whatever you want to call it...why don't we just call it peace of mind? I don't want anyone I do or don't know to feel like this.

"I don't want anyone to get to a point like I've been where you can't even get yourself dressed."

Darren continued that if we have to have a "little bit of paper" to get into a pub "so be it."

James reflected that it seems like a "no-brainer" to introduce vaccine passports, to which Darren said: "It is to me."

Some listeners had called in with concerns of being made to show certification as a breach of civil liberties and Darren responded: "Covid-19 takes away your civil liberties, trust me."

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Speaking at Monday's coronavirus press briefing from Downing Street, the Prime Minister said a Covid-status certification system will be developed over the coming months.

The so-called vaccine passports system will allow higher-risk settings, such as football stadiums and festivals, to open up safely and with more participants.

It will take into account three factors: vaccination, a recent negative Covid-19 test, or natural immunity after having tested positive for the virus in the previous six months.

Pilot events will take place from mid-April to trial the system, Mr Johnson confirmed, but the government is still "some way off finalising any plans".

However, the prime minister said there was "absolutely no question" of people having to show a vaccine passport to go to the pub or hairdresser when lockdown eases further on Monday.

As it happened: PM updates nation on relaxing England's lockdown