Road out of lockdown must not ride roughshod over our rights

Posted on 22 Feb 2021

Plans for “Covid Status Certificates” increase the risk of a long-term erosion of our rights.

Liberty has responded to the Prime Minister’s plans for easing lockdown, including a review of vaccine passports or “Covid Status Certificates”.

Sam Grant, Liberty’s Head of Policy and Campaigns, said: “We all want to get out of this pandemic as soon as possible. To do that we need to pull together and demand a response that protects everyone. The announcement on how we will exit lockdown does little to suggest this is the response the Prime Minister envisages. In fact, our rights are at risk of long-term erosion. Ministers have flip-flopped on the idea of immunity passports for months before quickly backing out again when faced with immense backlash. Renaming them “status certificates” does nothing to address the fact that they would create a two tier society where some people can access support and freedoms, while others are shut out – with the most marginalised among us hardest hit.

“The road out of lockdown can’t ride roughshod over our rights. Coronavirus has shown how much we depend on each other – and that none of us are protected until all of us are. That’s why we need the Coronavirus Act to be repealed, and replaced with strategies that provide support to help people to follow health guidance. That means rejecting proposals like immunity passports which are based on exclusion and division. Instead, we must work to bridge divides with strategies that protect everyone.”

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