Nick Ferrari grills minister over 'raft of bewildering' new Covid rules

20 July 2021, 08:18

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Nick Ferrari grills a minister over the 'bewildering' array of new rules after, so-called, 'freedom day'.

Speaking to Small Business Minister Paul Scully, Nick Ferrari questioned why there were so many confusing new rules.

Yesterday marked 'freedom day' in England which saw most remaining legal coronavirus restrictions

lifted.

But, Nick pointed out there was a "raft of confusion" with different rules being imposed in different locations and by different authorities.

Watch: Now is the 'best time' to ease Covid restrictions or 'we'd be in a semi-permanent lockdown'

"We were told that vaccine passports won't be necessary, now we're told they will be, we're told we don't need to wear masks as of freedom day but in many cities, if you want to board a bus or a tram they are.

"It is just bewildering, why is it such a plethora of mistakes and missteps?"

Read more: PM's plans for vaccine passports in clubs branded 'absolute shambles'

Mr Scully told Nick in terms of masks he didn't think it was a "mistake" and that the government was stepping back from making decisions and leaving it down to individual operators.

"What we've had over 16 months is the government telling people what to do, and I don't feel comfortable with that as a libertarian Conservative."

The minister said he wanted to "back out of people's lives" to let them "make the decisions as they always have done."

Read more: Andrew Lloyd Webber hits out at self-isolation rules after Cinderella cancellation

This led to Nick challenging the minister over vaccine passports, asking they would be required for "theatres, and cinemas and maybe even church services?"

"We're not ruling anything out," Mr Scully told Nick.

An incredulous Nick Ferrari asked if this meant "you might need a vaccine passport to go to a carol service?"

The Prime Minister was facing a backlash over his plans to make coronavirus vaccination compulsory for nightclubs and other crowded venues in the autumn.

Clubs, backbench Tories and opposition MPs criticised Boris Johnson's announcement on Monday - the day that clubs in England were allowed to open for the first time since March last year.

Speaking from self-isolation on so-called "freedom day", Mr Johnson warned venues with large crowds that they must make full vaccination a requirement of entry from the end of September.

Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance said during the Downing Street press conference clubs had the potential to cause "super spreading events".

Mr Johnson declined to rule out extending vaccination passports to pubs as he attended the briefing virtually from his country residence of Chequers.